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Praise for Mastering the Leadership Role in Project Management
“Alexander Laufer is one of the world’s wisest authorities on projects and how they work. His cognitive authority is based on many years of studying and working at project-based organizations and universities. Based on Alexander’s thoughtful judgment, this book—unlike so many anodyne and dull business texts—has the ring of ‘ground truth’ and authenticity that can’t be bought or faked. It has to be earned. Projects are an old and a new form for designing work, and this book is a wonderfully readable and reliable guide to the new world of work, knowledge, and respect. Learn from it!” —From the Foreword by Larry Prusak, Founder and Former Executive Director of the Institute for Knowledge Management (IKM); Currently teaching in the Information and Knowledge Program at Columbia University “I thoroughly enjoyed this book! The stories bring home the essence of what good projects need—good leadership. They present real women and men in very difficult situations, who succeed by doing what is right for the project and end up bringing the project team together to believe in the project. As valuable as project management’s best practices are, they can’t instill leadership. This book is the insight we need to pass on to the next generation. Thank you for writing this book!” —Charlene (“Chuck”) Walrad, Managing Director, Davenport Consulting, Inc.; Vice President, Standards Activities, Board of Governors, IEEE Computer Society “Alexander Laufer’s well-articulated and insightful stories helped me to identify subtle, but significant, opportunities for self-improvement that I have overlooked for so many years. I realized that small changes in my style can not only improve project outcome, but can also have considerable positive impacts on the rest of my team.” —Robert J. Simmons, Founder, CEO, CTO, ConXtech Inc. “Mastering the Leadership Role in Project Management is truly a guilty pleasure to take the time to read. In today’s fast-paced environment, Alexander and his colleagues have captured the essence of what project managers must do to deliver remarkable results—no matter where they work—by leading, not following, a scripted checklist. The book is written in bite-sized portions, so you can see what it takes to lead in today’s world.” —W. Scott Cameron, Global Project Management Technology Process Owner, Procter & Gamble Company
“Alexander Laufer’s book on project leadership fills a long-standing void in management and leadership understanding. This book will teach and entertain anyone who has been in awe of great leaders and aspires to be a better leader. Readers will appreciate the recurring concept of ‘unlearning’ outdated concepts and practices. The book brings to life valuable lessons that are relevant to managers at every level in their career. Mastering the Leadership Role in Project Management is required reading for project managers who would like insights on how to improve their skills and get better project results.” —Nadine Chin-Santos, Senior Project Manager, Assistant Vice President, Parsons Brinckerhoff “I was enthralled by the stories in this book on leadership in project management, as it corresponds to my recent focus on adaptive leadership. Stories help us to learn, and Alexander Laufer’s book contains wonderful stories about leadership by great leaders. These are stories about real projects, from a cross-section of project types, which have two common themes: the dynamics of projects and the importance of giving priority to ‘developing collaborative relations, fostering alliances, and giving people a sense of confidence in themselves.’ If you want to lead projects, as opposed to administer them, then read these fascinating stories.” —Jim Highsmith, Executive Consultant at ThoughtWorks; Author, Agile Project Management “We learn leadership best by observing great leaders, but most project managers rarely have an opportunity to do that…until now. In Mastering the Leadership Role in Project Management, Alexander Laufer introduces us to exceptional project leaders, the best of the best, and allows us to observe, in riveting narratives, how they plan, problem solve, and inspire their teams to deliver remarkable results.” —Hugh Woodward, Former Chair, Project Management Institute “These stories tell how real people brought themselves fully to the management of uniquely complex and risky projects and found a way through. There is no easy success or bragging reported here. Rather, people tell in their own voice what they saw, how they understood the situation, and which factors shaped their actions. The terrain is challenging. Mistakes are made and lessons are learned. People grow as they find their way through. This would be a great book for project leaders to read and discuss, story by story, and learn from the practices reflected in each one.” —Gregory A. Howell, President, Lean Construction Institute
Mastering the Leadership Role in Project Management
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Mastering the Leadership Role in Project Management Practices that Deliver Remarkable Results Alexander Laufer .
S. New Jersey 07458 FT Press offers excellent discounts on this book when ordered in quantity for bulk purchases or special sales. Pearson Education Singapore. de C. please contact U. Pearson Educación de Mexico. Company and product names mentioned herein are the trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners. No part of this book may be reproduced.com. Publisher: Tim Moore Associate Publisher and Director of Marketing: Amy Neidlinger Executive Editor: Jeanne Glasser Editorial Assistant: Pamela Boland Operations Specialist: Jodi Kemper Assistant Marketing Manager: Megan Graue Cover Designer: Chuti Prasertsith Managing Editor: Kristy Hart Project Editor: Jovana San Nicolas-Shirley Copy Editor: Ginny Munroe Proofreader: Gill Editorial Services Senior Indexer: Cheryl Lenser Senior Compositor: Gloria Schurick Manufacturing Buyer: Dan Uhrig © 2012 by Alexander Laufer Publishing as FT Press Upper Saddle River. Pte. in any form or by any means.S. Ltd. Pearson Education Asia. Ltd. corpsales@pearsontechgroup. Limited. Corporate and Government Sales. without permission in writing from the publisher.. please contact International Sales at international@pearsoned.V. Pearson Education Australia PTY. Pearson Education—Japan Pearson Education Malaysia. The Library of Congress cataloging-in-publication data is on file.Vice President. For more information. Pte. S. For sales outside the U. Ltd. Printed in the United States of America First Printing: April 2012 ISBN-10: 0-13-262034-0 ISBN-13: 978-0-13-262034-5 Pearson Education LTD. Pearson Education Canada.A. 1-800382-3419.com. All rights reserved. Ltd. .
Don. and Zvi: Our sincere thanks to all the project leaders who allowed us to study their challenging projects and to share their remarkable stories .From Alex: To Yochy. Dora. Alistair. my dear wife and best friend. Jeff. Dan. and the loving family we have raised together From Alex. Ed.
. . . . . . . . . . . . 7 On Leadership. . . . . . . . . 55 Final Stages: Making Progress Through Versatility. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Alistair Cockburn . Jeffrey Russell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Six Is Not Seven . . . . . . . . . xi About the Author. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Contents Foreword: Larry Prusak . . . 1 Stuck in the ’60s . . . . . 19 Doing Business More Like Business . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Middle Stages: Making Progress by Uniting . . . . . . Management. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Chapter 1 Developing a Missile: The Power of Autonomy and Learning Alexander Laufer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Learning from Stories. . . 4 Learning from the Best. . . . . . . . . Dan Ward. . . . . . . . . . . . xv Introduction: Learning from the Best Practitioners Alexander Laufer . . . 47 Chapter 2 Building of Memory: Managing Creativity Through Action Alexander Laufer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xiv About the Contributors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Zvi Ziklik. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Description of the Cases. . . 51 Initial Stages: Making Progress by Splitting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 We’re Married Now . . . . . . . . 65 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and the Specific Context . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 We Would Shoot Granny for a Dollar . . . . . . . 10 Endnotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . 118 Chapter 5 A Successful Downsizing: Developing a Culture of Trust and Responsibility Alexander Laufer. . . . . 149 The Turbulent Birth of the Unilateral Disengagement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94 Flight Party . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 171 Nurturing the Culture of Location . . . . . . . . 71 I Was the Enemy . . Zvi Ziklik. . . . . . . . . . . . . 103 The Entrepreneurial Phase . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 156 The Speedy Implementation of the Evacuation . . 151 The Fight for the Makeup of the Battalion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103 The Risk Reduction Phase . . . . . . 87 People Matter the Most . . . . . 175 . . . . . . 171 “Good Enough” Is Good Enough . 149 The Systematic Preparations of the Israeli Defense Forces . . . . . . . . . 141 Chapter 6 A Peaceful Evacuation: Building a Multi-Project Battalion by Leading Upward Alexander Laufer. Jeffrey Russell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76 Change of Venue. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ix Chapter 3 Flying Solar-Powered Airplanes: Soaring High on Spirit and Systems Alexander Laufer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114 The Constant Vigilance Phase . . . . . . . . . 100 Chapter 4 Transferring Harbor Cranes: Delivering a Bold Idea Through Meticulous Preparations and Quick Responsiveness Alexander Laufer. . . . . . . Edward Hoffman. . . . . . . Zvi Ziklik. . . . . . . . . Alistair Cockburn . . . . . . . . . 130 Constancy of Purpose . . . . . . . . . . . . 164 Chapter 7 Exploring Space: Shaping Culture by Exploiting Location Alexander Laufer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Don Cohen . . . . . . . Dan Ward. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125 My Engineering Staff Shrunk from 80 to 12 . . . . Dora Cohenca-Zall . . . . . 125 Partnership . . . . . . Edward Hoffman. . . Don Cohen . . . . . . . 71 Systems Are Our Best Friends . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jeffrey Russell. . . . . 236 Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 222 Practice Five: Shape the Right Culture . . . . . . . 183 When “Good Enough” Is Not Good Enough . . . . . . . 230 Practice Eight: Be Action-Oriented and Focus on Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 224 Practice Six: Plan. . . 189 Chapter 8 Building a Dairy Plant: Accelerating Speed Through Splitting and Harmonizing Alexander Laufer. . . . . . . . . . . 218 Practice Four: Do Your Utmost to Recruit the Right People . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 213 First Practice: Embrace the “Living Order” Concept . . 232 Practice Nine: Lead. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . So You Can Manage. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 239 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Monitor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and Anticipate . . 214 Practice Two: Adjust Project Practices to the Specific Context . . . . . . . . .x Mastering the Leadership roLe in projeCt ManageMent A Gentle Touch. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 227 Practice Seven: Use Face-to-Face Communication as the Primary Communication Mode . . . . . . . . 198 Splitting and Harmonizing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dora Cohenca-Zall . 193 Gaining Independence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 193 Shifting from Park to Drive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 216 Practice Three: Challenge the Status Quo. . . . . . . . . . . . 203 Epilogue Practices for Project Leadership Alexander Laufer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Let’s explore why and how this is happening. to manage the new factories and mill workers. steel mills.S. This model was readily and quickly adapted to all sorts of manufacturing. nothing ever comes from nothing. As Horace said. The older. mining. and munition works that were cropping up all over Western Europe and the Northeastern U. This. was the military. very differently than it was done in these great industrial companies of the past century. chemical plants. there is one great problem with this model in the twenty-first century. new technologies produced in the U. This “knowledge . artisan-based division of labor. and to manage their final mass-produced products.S. much of the wealth being created in the more advanced economies is based far more on knowledge and other intangibles than on the manipulation of any materials. The management structures that were adapted to these new organisms were based on the only system that anyone had ever seen and that allowed for managing many men over time and space and enabled them to perform at least somewhat complex tasks. For one thing.Foreword We no longer work as we used to. However. By the mid-nineteenth century. would never suffice for the railroads. as seen in Adam Smith’s famous pin factory. The fact is plain and clear: Most work today needs to be done very. the hallmarks of any military structure—at least up until the past 20 years or so—were command and control bureaucratic hierarchies with rigid rules and regulations and stiff penalties for noncompliance. Something new had to be developed to manage this new form of work. The gross output of the world increased approximately 12 times from 1880 to 1990—a record that is unlikely to ever be repeated. cotton factories. of course. Now. and shipping concerns and proved to be a great global success as far as wealth production. and Europe (and later Japan) allowed complex tasks to be performed by a much larger number of employees than ever before. with its paternalistic management structure.
the medical. No one wants to return to the world where Henry Ford famously asked: “Why do I want to pay for a worker’s head when I only want the muscle in his arm?” If we are all going to be working in organizations that develop and produce and extensively work with knowledge. And because form follows function. such as Germany. Microsoft. but they also want to work with peers in supportive knowledge-sharing environments where everyone can learn and contribute. They not only want autonomy and respect. The book also highlights elements of successful project management that are scarcely found in standard texts. It has to be earned. Alexander Laufer is one of the world’s wisest authorities on projects and how they work.. and finance giants. are seen throughout the text. In many places. Just think of the size and scale and output of some of the largest firms in our lives— Google. His cognitive authority is based on many years of studying and working at organizations and universities. and even Apple. and the U.S.xii Mastering the Leadership roLe in projeCt ManageMent economy” is every bit as “real” as the industrial one. The most common new form of knowledgebased work where this is already going on is in projects—projects of every shape and form. now the wealthiest firm on earth—whose competitive edge is based on design. and autonomy. And that is the focus of this wonderful book. less than 15 percent of the work performed in these countries is in manufacturing. such as trust. then we also have to change the very way in which we structure the work. which are project-based. culture. . media. Knowledge workers surely do not want to be treated like modern versions of nineteenth-century mill workers. a form of knowledge! Even in former manufacturing giants. the UK. this book— unlike so many anodyne and dull business texts—has the ring of “ground truth” and authenticity that can’t be bought or faked. it stands to reason that the way plants were managed wouldn’t be at all useful to any organization that is strongly or even moderately based on knowledge and its applications. Based on Alex’s thoughtful judgment. this is already going on. Social capital issues.
xiii as they should be. Founder and former executive director of the Institute for Knowledge Management (IKM) and currently teaching in the Information and Knowledge Program at Columbia University . Projects are an old and a new form for designing work. knowledge. and respect. Learn from it! —Larry Prusak. and this book is a wonderfully readable and reliable guide to the new world of work.
. Laufer is the author or coauthor of five books. He is a member of the editorial review board of the Project Management Journal. Academy Sharing Knowledge. He has also served as the director of the Center for Project Leadership at Columbia University. 2005).About the Author Dr. He has served as the editorin-chief of the NASA Academy of Program and Project Leadership Magazine. Dr. Alexander Laufer is a chaired professor of civil engineering at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. 2009) and Shared Voyage: Learning and Unlearning from Remarkable Projects (NASA History Office. where he also served as the dean of the faculty. Currently he is also a visiting professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. the two most recent ones are Breaking the Code of Project Management (Macmillan. and as a member of the advisory board of the NASA Academy of Program and Project Leadership.
process design. talks. Prior to these projects. Alistair Cockburn is president of Humans and Technology. the journal of the IBM Institute for Knowledge Management. California Management Review. Oxford University Press. He received both his BA and M.Phil in English from Yale University.us. cockburn. He is known for his lively presentations and interactive workshops. and procurement strategies. particularly for large infrastructure projects in their early phases of project definition. He created and edited Knowledge Directions. three Jolt-awarded books on software development. In recent years.About the Contributors Dr. and object-oriented design. and other journals. Knowledge and Process Management. His articles on organizational knowledge and social capital have appeared in Harvard Business Review. she worked as a . Don Cohen is managing editor of NASA’s ASK Magazine. Knowledge Management. He is also coauthor of In Good Company: How Social Capital Makes Organizations Work and Better Together: Restoring the American Community. she was involved in two of the largest projects in Israel: the Carmel Tunnels project in Haifa and the Light Rail Train project in Tel Aviv. and coauthor of The Agile Manifesto and The Project Management Declaration of Interdependence. Dora Cohenca-Zall is an independent project management consultant. and blog can be found online at http://alistair. He is an internationally renowned IT strategist and an expert on agile development. and was voted one of the “All-Time Top 150 i-Technology Heroes” in 2007 for his pioneering work on use cases and co-creation of the agile software development movement. use cases. His articles. His chapter on “Designing Organizations to Enhance Social Capital” appears in the Handbook of Knowledge Creation and Management. Dr. He is the author of The Crystal Agile Methodologies. strategic planning. project management. poems. Inc. devoted to stories of project management and engineering excellence.
and speaks frequently at conferences and associations.E. Russell. He works within NASA as well as with leaders of industry. He has been honored with a number of national and regional awards. He . Prior to assuming his current position. as well as nine best paper awards. He serves as adjunct faculty at The George Washington University. at the Technion in Israel. She teaches project management courses to graduate students at both the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and the University of Haifa. Hoffman is the director of the NASA Academy of Program/Project and Engineering Leadership (APPEL) and NASA’s Chief Knowledge Officer. Dr. and other government agencies to develop the agency’s capabilities in program and project management and engineering. academia. In this role.xvi Mastering the Leadership roLe in projeCt ManageMent consultant to the UN in large organizational change projects in Paraguay. She obtained her BS in civil engineering in Paraguay and her M.. Russell served as Professor and Chair in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) at the UW. He served as editor-in-chief of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Journal of Management in Engineering (1995–2000) and as founding editor-in-chief of the ASCE publication Leadership and Management in Engineering (2000–2003). He holds a Doctorate. 2005) and Project Management Success Stories: Lessons of Project Leaders (Wiley. as well as Master of Arts and Master of Science degrees from Columbia University in the area of social and organizational psychology. is Vice Provost for Lifelong Learning and Dean of Continuing Studies at the University of WisconsinMadison (UW). Jeffrey S. Dr. professional associations. South America. He received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Brooklyn College in 1981. Hoffman has written numerous journal articles.Sc and Ph. Dr. Dr. He has published more than 200 technical papers in addition to two books. P. he is responsible for leading the university’s programs and services for lifelong learners and nontraditional students. Edward J. coauthored Shared Voyage: Learning and Unlearning from Remarkable Projects (NASA.D. 2000).
satellite projects. He holds a BS in electrical engineering from Clarkson University. communication infrastructures. His company specializes in managing the design and execution of very large and highly complex construction projects in Israel.D. Epstein and Sons. he served as the vice president for Engineering for Druker Construction company. Russell served on the ASCE Board of Directors (1997–2000). where he is currently a senior adjunct lecturer. xvii has advised over 100 graduate students. and social networking for the military. Harpers. Dr. including 26 Ph. Dr. Solel Boneh. His background includes laser research. was recently elected to the National Academy of Construction. he became vice president for Marketing. Gilbert. in industrial engineering from the TechnionIsrael Institute of Technology. SIGNAL. and is presently Chair of the ASCE Committee on Academic Prerequisites for Professional Practice. Zvi Ziklik is the general manager of the Haifa branch of A. He is also the author of seven books. an MS in engineering management from Western New England College. His writings have appeared in Defense AT&L Magazine. . Dan Ward is chief of acquisition innovation in the Air Force’s Acquisition Process Office at the Pentagon. Previously. at the time. students. one of the fastest growing companies in Israel. He holds a BS and a Ph. Lt. and served as principal or coprincipal investigator for more than $14 million of publicly and privately funded research. and an MS in systems engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology. When Drucker was acquired by the largest construction company in Israel. a Chicago-based international company. and the Information Systems Security Association Journal. imagery exploitation systems.D. including a design book titled The Simplicity Cycle. Col.
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I was brought up in the Robert McNamara school of management. I got a call to come in and talk to one of my bosses at the Eglin Air Force Base.Introduction Learning from the Best Practitioners by Alexander Laufer Learning from Stories “In late December 1995. As soon as I got there.. and I wasn’t happy about it at all. where everything is 1 . The second mandate was to get started quickly. I was informed that I was being switched off JDAM to run the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) program. my priorities are to develop collaborative relations. I gravitated toward an analytical approach because of my background in operations research. At the time... In contrast.. I would have to start over and would probably have to cope with a more difficult environment. and controlling performance. At first.“I stumbled into an understanding of this when I got involved in program management many years ago.. The original program manager of JASSM.. The Tri-Service Standoff Attack Missile (TSSAM) had been cancelled after six years and several billion dollars in cost overruns.“... and give the people who work for me a sense of confidence in themselves. meaning the TSSAM program..Most of my peers in program management think that the most important aspects of our job are making decisions..“I knew that at JASSM. The first was not to repeat any of the mistakes of the past. I was program manager for the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) missile. conducting reviews. foster alliances. was given two major mandates.
. all the things that were in their heads as a result of their experiences and what they had been told in the past. but did they have anything to do with determining whether the project was going to be successful? Not at all.2 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent quantifiable—if we can’t build a model of something. They were in a state of disbelief after learning that their boss had been fired over the Christmas holiday. I had managed to deliver several major projects successfully by implementing practices that were designed to fit the world as I saw it and that often differed from the accepted practices. but none of the models I was using measured that critical ingredient for success.. then it doesn’t exist. I would have been happy to be on contract at the end of seven months. at project completion. Yet.. there is no program.“What I wanted to do was set a goal that would challenge these folks to look at things in an entirely new way.. He had worked with them on this program from the beginning and was well liked.The truth is that I pulled the number six out of my hat. first.“Experience was my greatest teacher. I wanted something so outrageous that it would cause them.’“. Terry’s team received the highest acquisition honor of the Department of . but then—once they figured out that giving up wasn’t an option—to step back and examine all their assumptions.. all their beliefs. to essentially give up.I called a meeting the first day back after New Year’s with the 20 people who were working on JASSM.“. and to ask themselves with a clean slate.. but I would never have told the team that. or even eight months. I could do the fanciest calculations in the world. ‘We are going to get this program on contract within six months.. I didn’t want a schedule that they felt they could achieve just by working on weekends or figuring out a handful of inventive ways to do things.. ‘What do I really need to do to achieve this goal?’” This is an excerpt from the story of Air Force program manager Terry Little. Programs move ahead because of the activities of people. who was drafted to turn around a program that appeared to be on its way to swift cancellation. I showed up and told them. Out of the blue.“It didn’t take me long to figure out that this idea was bankrupt. If we don’t do it in six months.
how it relates to project management. It didn’t take me long to figure out that this idea was bankrupt. that the beliefs and practices of project managers and their team members are often influenced by outdated concepts that must first be abandoned. People’s minds are changed more through observation than through argument.” You will see when you read his full story. you can acquire rich knowledge about two related subjects: • Project leadership: Its different facets. and even the unlearning process. IntroductIon • LearnIng from the Best PractItIoners 3 Defense. where everything is quantifiable—if we can’t build a model of something. convert tacit knowledge to explicit knowledge. We all know that most people love to read stories and that a good story can serve as a very powerful learning tool. induce reflection. the learning process. convey easily digestible complex messages. as well as all the other stories in the book. and how it is fulfilled in different circumstances • Project practices: The specific practices that successful project managers apply in exercising their leadership and management roles. The use of stories becomes more important for unlearning purposes because they are usually far more effective than analytical explanations or dry principles. “At first. prior to learning. I gravitated toward an analytical approach. and be remembered easily. and how these practices are implemented in different circumstances However. will evolve primarily from the experiences accumulated by applying the . it is sometimes necessary to first go through a process of unlearning. and real-life stories told by credible and successful managers may serve as an effective substitute for observation. As Terry Little tells us. Stories can stimulate curiosity. The full story is one of the eight remarkable cases presented in this book.1 By reading the eight stories and reflecting on them. then it doesn’t exist. Yet.
W. “All of the world’s trade in 1949 happens in a single day today. in spite of these vast world changes. [I] felt like I was not only a different man. the project manager in the Pathfinder case (see Chapter 3. so did the British executive and a professor of project management. The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook explains it vividly: “Buckminster Fuller used to say that if you want to teach people a new way of thinking. in 2001. but it started me down the right road. the British management business leader and philosopher Charles Handy vividly described the pace of change. This is how. the theory of project management has remained largely unchanged. What’s more.” A half a century later. as do all the telephone calls made around the world in 1984. Morris. the use of which will lead them to new ways of thinking. “We are shaping the world faster than we can change ourselves.. but a better manager. A year in a day is exactly how it feels sometimes. and one can say that nothing has changed regarding the validity of Churchill’s painful insight.. and we are applying to the present the habits of the past.” Stuck in the ’60s The great British leader Winston Churchill once said. As Ray Morgan. P. note more .”2 Using the new tool naturally triggers reflection.”3 Yet.. you will gradually master a leadership role in your projects. tells us: “This new approach didn’t immediately solve my problems. Instead. all of the foreign exchange dealings in 1979 happen now in a single day. The practices described in the cases throughout this book will quickly become your new tools.4 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent practices.. and the unlearning process usually requires more than a few cycles of using the tool and reflecting on the new experience. I had finally begun to be a leader. don’t bother trying to teach them. give them a tool. Just as Churchill astutely observed how we are stuck in our ways. and by applying them and reflecting on them.G. “Flying Solar-Powered Airplanes: Soaring High on Spirit and Systems”).
in their study of software project failure.” “In the present big.”4 Practitioners must recognize that the prevailing theories and the basic assumptions of their discipline have a great impact on their own thoughts and practices. complex... For example. it creates self-inflicting problems that seriously undermine performance.8 Results of software projects have received great attention in this regard. it [the theory of project management] is in many respects still stuck in a 1960s time warp. IntroductIon • LearnIng from the Best PractItIoners 5 recently that. then we should not be surprised to learn about the widespread poor statistics of project results... however. practitioners—assumes to be reality. teachers.5 Thus. in a period that was more inflexible and less complex and where events changed less rapidly than today.” Sumantra Ghoshal cites Kurt Lewin’s argument that “nothing is as practical as a good theory.. emerged.. a theory stuck in the ’60s might not be just old and irrelevant. and speedy projects..”6 This is exactly what Koskela and Howell claim in their paper “The Underlying Theory of Project Management Is Obsolete.”7 If conventional methods of project management can exacerbate rather than alleviate project problems. Keil and his colleagues reported that.. writers. “Based on a survey of 376 CEOs. whereas the average cost overrun of eight large road projects in Sweden was 86 percent.” Ghoshal stresses. roughly 50 . “Bad Management Theories Are Destroying Good Management Practices.” Peter Drucker added that the basic assumptions about reality largely determine what the discipline—scholars. Albert Einstein explained it very succinctly: “It is the theory that describes what we can observe. a recent study that examined ten large rail transit projects in the United States found that the projects suffered from an average cost overrun of 61 percent. traditional project management is simply counterproductive. in his 2005 seminal article. For example. but it might also adversely affect our performance. that the “obverse is also true: Nothing is as dangerous as a bad theory. “Modern project management. Indeed.
Cicmil et al. researchers are chronically wrestling with the problem of how to find ways to develop what is termed “relevant research.”11 Attempting to respond to this concern in project management research.. In short. Delivering less functionality than was originally planned is also nothing out of the ordinary.” Yet. this is the simple and painful conclusion reached by Sandberg and Tsoukas in 2011: “There is an increasing concern that management theories are not relevant to practice.”9 Research by the Standish Group.. In research concerning general management (that is. One possible reason is that the research is detached from practice. The Standish Group’s 2006 survey showed that nearly two-thirds of all the information technology projects launched in that year either failed or ran into trouble. we know very little about the ‘actuality’ of projectbased working and management.”12 . project failure in the information technology world is almost standard operating procedure. shows that overrunning the budget is common and that delivering projects late is normal. which has been doing surveys on information technology projects since 1994.. This problem has not been confined only to researchers in project management.6 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent percent of all information technology projects fail to meet chief executive expectations..10 These unsettling statistics beg the question of why management theories are still stuck in the ’60s.what is needed to improve project management practice is not more research on what should be done. with a focus on permanent organizations rather than on temporary ones). suggest that: “.
• Excellence is a better teacher than mediocrity. among them: AT&T. General Motors. and the U. The common arguments for this research approach are: • Management practitioners live in a world of extremes. therefore. Management is best learned by emulating exemplary role models. Procter & Gamble.S. What they need to know is how to differentiate between good and bad managers. Instead of asking: “Why don’t practitioners use what researchers know?” I have reversed the question and asked: “Why don’t researchers use what practitioners know?” In this long learning pursuit of striving to develop a “theory of practice. yet complementary. NASA. Motorola. particularly interviews and observations of practitioners • Case studies and stories collected from more than 150 project managers in over 20 organizations • Consulting work to test interim results All of my studies were focused on the most competent practitioners affiliated with a great variety of “advanced” organizations.13 . approaches: • Field studies in advanced organizations using structured research tools. Skanska. My focus on a selective sample of the best practitioners rather than using a sample representing the entire population of project managers is highly recommended by prominent authorities in management research.” I have collected firsthand data by alternately employing three different. IBM. IntroductIon • LearnIng from the Best PractItIoners 7 Learning from the Best Studying the “actuality” of projects is exactly what I have attempted to do for more than two decades. population averages are meaningless to them. Air Force. Du Pont.
and the Specific Context Based on my studies. they are not so well defined. only in recent years and with the help of the contributors to this book. adaptive problems might require the project manager to bypass company procedures in order to ensure that the best contractor in town will be selected to cope with an infeasible design or in order to instruct the designer to think outside the box and develop creative solutions to cope with unreasonable cost constraints. collaboration. and often require new learning and changes in patterns of behavior. I was able to uncover the common practices employed by successful project managers in order to cope with our dynamic environment. are adaptive. and risk management systems cannot eliminate the need for coping with frequent unexpected events and numerous problems throughout the life of a project. These problems require leadership.8 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent On Leadership. These practices of planning. and communication have been described in four previous books that I authored or co-authored. they can be solved with knowledge and procedures already at hand. the project manager must be willing and able to make significant changes and to challenge the status quo. these issues can be accomplished without challenging conventional habits and practices. For example. Although solving problems such as how to accelerate project speed or replace a contractor might require great flexibility and high responsiveness. In order to address these adaptive problems. that is. They just require good managerial skills. I was able to better understand the crucial role of project leadership in project success.14 However. I found that even the most effective planning. Management. as well as the meaning of project management in this dynamic environment. that is. however. do not have clear solutions. Other problems. Most of the problems encountered throughout project life are technical. control. control.15 . In my studies.
” Drucker further argues that this assumption is totally at odds with reality and totally counterproductive. such as proponents of Agile Project Management. Johns presents evidence that management researchers are inclined to downplay the context or the specifics of a given situation. that today these assumptions must be unlearned.” Melgrati and Damiani make this point very eloquently: “Project management ideology is paradoxical because it focuses on repetitive aspects and ‘marginalizes’ the uniqueness and originality that should instead characterize the project. particularly the assumption that “there is (or there must be) one right way to manage people. Peter Drucker argues that several assumptions regarding the realities of management have been held by most scholars.”17 However.16 For the most part. it seems that context-free research is somehow perceived as being more scientific and prestigious than contextspecific research. writers. and practitioners since the study of management first began in the 1930s. the project management literature has not given explicit treatment to context issues and has thus implicitly endorsed the “one best way” approach.” Thus.18 . the emphasis in the literature has typically been on the “standard” or the “common. there have been some notable exceptions. which was the favorite phrase of Fredrick Taylor. the way in which leadership and management are exercised depends on the specific context of the project. the father of “scientific management. however.” rather than on the “unique. According to Johns. giving voice to a new approach that challenges the “one best way” and recommends tailoring the project management process to the situation. IntroductIon • LearnIng from the Best PractItIoners 9 The studies also reveal that while all projects require both leadership and management. He maintains.
it will become clear that there is no “one best way” for leading and managing a project. when considering the different types of projects.21 Following is a brief description of the eight projects and their key challenges: . it will also become evident that in projects sharing common characteristics and coping with similar challenges. weapons development. and one from Israel.S. such as planning.S. and transportation). four from the U. Rather. were selected for this book. construction.10 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent Description of the Cases This is precisely the rationale behind the design of this book: to help the reader understand how successful project managers tailor practices.19 The eight projects selected are divided into four groups. and four from Israel. with two projects in each group. The key aspect defining each group is its uniquely different nature: • New Product Development • Repeated and Risky Tasks • Organizational Change • Complex Projects (large projects composed of many diverse components. and communication to the unique context of their projects. collaboration. the project manager must tailor the project practices to the project’s unique context. the project managers use many practices in a like manner. Yet. widely dispersed geographically)20 Upon reading each of the eight projects in this book. Thus. control. eight very successful projects. one from the U. The uniqueness of the projects was assured by their geographic location and by the wide range of their industry and product settings (space.
Lockheed Martin.” Building a Museum: Yad Vashem. the official Israeli memorial complex for the victims of the Holocaust. Following an international competition. was told by the U. The know-how required to overcome the extraordinary difficulty in controlling . The objective is a dramatic reduction in acquisition time and funds. and at times it seemed that its execution was just not feasible. which had exceeded its budget estimates by record levels. Repeated and Risky Tasks Flying Solar-Powered Airplanes: The Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology program. Air Force: “We don’t have the time. and we don’t have the answers. was charged with the task of converting Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) into research platforms. We want a missile in half the time for half the price.S. During the early phases of the project. it became clear very quickly that the only way to produce an affordable missile was to stop doing “business as usual. was embarking on the addition of a new history museum. The contractor. established by NASA. Moshe Safdie from Canada was selected. Indeed. You either understand that or you are out of the game. You will have the freedom to put together your approach that meets our three key performance parameters. we don’t have the funds. the project manager found that the design required the development of a revolutionary and very challenging product that had never before been implemented. the building appeared to call for sculpturing more than construction.” Thus. with the participation of ten of the best architects in the world. IntroductIon • LearnIng from the Best PractItIoners 11 New Product Development Developing a Missile: The Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile program was established to replace the cancelled TriService Standoff Attack Missile program.
and tested and licensed by the manufacturer. AeroVironment. despite strong pressure to maintain the status quo. as the reforms she had in mind entailed a partnership with her industry counterpart (Raytheon). She soon found herself in the center of a maelstrom. did indeed find that it faced a daunting technological challenge: to operate an aircraft that was both light enough to fly and large enough to be powered by the sun and carry meaningful payloads. not the least of which was the mandated drawdown plan that had not been met. . one company that was brave enough to embark on the adventure with NASA.S. Transferring Harbor Cranes: The Israeli Ports Authority issued a bid for transferring four huge harbor cranes from the port of Haifa to another port in Israel. One company decided to employ a pioneering method never before attempted anywhere in the world: transferring the cranes by sea. When the new project manager arrived. Air Force was rife with problems. into about 70 pieces each. If this was to be done. each weighing up to 400 tons and reaching as high as 40 meters. she was motivated by a desire to do the right thing. she discovered that not everyone at the base was keen on change. Still.12 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent the risks involved was enough to put most companies off. The traditional method is to dismantle the cranes. thereby skipping altogether the lengthy and costly process of dismantling and recomposing the cranes. it would be through careful attention to the design of the aircraft and its systems—and by doing business in an entirely new way. Organizational Change Downsizing: The Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile program of the U. which was on a dramatically different management path. They are then transported over land on huge trucks. recomposed through a very meticulous process.
IntroductIon • LearnIng from the Best PractItIoners 13 Evacuation: The former Israeli Prime Minister. Sharon called on the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). the company learned that its greatest rival was about to embark on a new dairy line that would threaten Tnuva’s domination in the field. two years following the launch. the vision called for a “dream dairy” that would be equipped with the most advanced technology in the world. uproot the settlements. three large organizations with marked geographical and cultural differences were faced with the development of a complex product within a fixed timetable. Due to the enormity of the mission. . was for years the greatest activist behind the Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip. So the announcement of his decision to abandon the Strip. not everyone involved in the project. The implementation of his decision led to the largest series of demonstrations in Israel’s history. However. launched the biggest dairy plant in the Middle East. rather than the police. Building a Dairy Plant: When Tnuva. Ariel Sharon. Tnuva’s management decided to make a radical change. Complex Projects Building a Spacecraft and Scientific Instruments: Under a novel co-leadership arrangement between NASA and Caltech. and 12 battalions were specially organized to carry out this unique mission. The charge was accepted quite reluctantly. downgrading many features of their original design and adopting an emergency schedule. and it was soon in jeopardy of being cancelled. The project had barely started when it already appeared to be quickly outspending its resources. and evacuate all the inhabitants was met with shock by many and threatened to tear apart the Israeli population. as described in the story of a Lieutenant Colonel and his team who headed one of the battalions. However. Israel’s largest food manufacturer.
G. p. Bon Voyage! Endnotes 1.M. pp. 2. New York. M. New York. Kleiner. p.R. 9. and gradually facilitate a change of mind and a change of practice. San Francisco. Human Inference: Strategies and Shortcomings of Social Judgment. Ross (1980). and at times. they will help you become both a better project manger and a better project leader.C. P. Roberts. creative solutions. NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons. R. you might find yourself “dialoging” with yourself and with these successful project managers. Jalongo and J. Englewood Cliffs. CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers. “Organizational Stories as Symbols to Control the Organization. Numagami (1998). “The Infeasibility of Invariant Laws in Management Studies: A Reflective Dialogue in Defense of Case Studies. eds. Smith (1994). 254. Their decisions and actions. Dandridge. The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook: Strategies and Tools for Building a Learning Organization. Wilkins (1983). 143. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc. 78. A. 50–1. Nisbett and L. CT: JAI Press. . and B. you are going to reflect on their challenging problems.14 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent in particular the German firm designing the equipment. A. Senge. and their learning and unlearning will undoubtedly affect you. NY: Doubleday Currency. Most of all.P. p. T..C. Managers Not MBAs—A Hard Look at the Soft Practice of Managing and Management Development. C. R. and T. was so willing to abruptly abandon their state-of-the-art design. you are going to live through the experiences of the best project managers. 81–92. 12. Tell Me a Story: A New Look at Real and Artificial Memory. Numagami suggests that the objective of management studies should be changed from a search for invariant laws of practical use to the encouragement of a reflective dialogue between researchers and practitioners and among practitioners. P. You are now ready to embark on an enjoyable voyage of learning from eight remarkable stories. NJ: PrenticeHall. and that the case study is an excellent vehicle for such a dialogue. Mintzberg (2004). Morgan. L.L. Teacher’s Stories: From Personal Narrative to Professional Insight. H. 1: 2–15. Pondy.” Organizational Symbolism. Schank (1990). pp.” Organization Science. Greenwich. their successes and failures.R.J Frost. inspire you. Inevitably. and effective practices. Isenberg (1995). They will empower you. 28. Through these vivid stories.
4. Handy (2002). 101. Boehm and R. “Bad Management Theories Are Destroying Good Management Practices. J. Megaprojects and Risks: An Anatomy of Ambition. New York. 293–301. Boston. formalized. S. Rai. “Learning the Craft of Organizational Research.P. The Elephant and the Flea: Reflections of a Reluctant Capitalist. S. Ghoshal (2005). also finds a need for a new paradigm. Williams (1999). said back in 1983: “As a reviewer of papers. “Rethinking Project Management: Researching the Actuality of Projects. Its research is published under the title CHAOS. 6. 11. and implemented a new project management approach called the Agile method. Zhang (2003). 2: 338–360.standishgroup. Hodgson (2006). 7. Thomas. Koskela and G. Tsoukas (2011). Seattle. UK: Thomas Telford Services. IntroductIon • LearnIng from the Best PractItIoners 15 3. it becomes painfully clear that many authors have never seen or witnessed the phenomena about which they write. J.E.L. 9.G. Indeed. took the initiative and developed. J. MA: Addison-Wesley Professional.” R. 8. NY: Harper Collins.” The Academy of Management Review 36. A. The Standish Group (http://www. and D. 12. Boston. L.” IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management 50. 4: 775–782. “The Need for New Paradigms for Complex Projects. 10.com/) has been doing surveys on all types of IT projects since 1994. C. 5 & 17. “Tent Poles. focusing on complex projects.” International Journal of Project Management 24. Drucker (1999). and G. a group of software developers.” Academy of Management Journal 50. relating to management researchers and not particularly to project management researchers. London.” Proceedings of PMI Research Conference.” Academy of Management Review 8. Cambridge.” Academy of Management Learning and Education 4. 5. Daft (1983). 1 (March): 75–91. WA: pp. Authors cannot give an example to illustrate a point. 5: 269–73.F. See: B. N. P. 217. “Grasping the Logic of Practice: Theorizing Through Practical Rationality. and Boundary Spanning: The RigorRelevance Debate in Management Research. T. Richard Daft. Sandberg and H. Howell (2002). P. 8: 675–86. R. B. p. pp. “The Underlying Theory of Project Management Is Obsolete. Rothengatter (2003). p. Balancing Agility and Discipline. Williams. “Why Software Projects Escalate: The Importance of Project Management Constructs. Tribalism. UK: Cambridge University Press. Turner (2004). Gulati (2007). Cheney Mann. 4: 539–46. p. M. Flyvbjerg. Bruzelius. Management Challenges for the 21st Century.” International Journal of Project Management 17. Cicmil. Keil. 44. T. The Management of Projects. 3: 251–61.W. Morris (1994). Williams. and W. who were dissatisfied with the traditional project management approach. MA: Harvard Business School Press.M. .
Organizing Genius—The Secrets of Creative Collaboration. T. J. MA: Addison-Wesley. R. Dvir (2007). P. New York. Laufer and E. J. A. New York. NY: Dorset House Publishing. 172. NY: John Wiley & Sons.16 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent 13. In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America’s Best-Run Companies. 14. McKelvey (2006).J. Adaptive Software Development—A Collaborative Approach to Managing Complex Systems. Porras (1994). PA: Project Management Institute. NY: Palgrave Macmillan. Highsmith (2000). Simultaneous Management: Managing Projects in a Dynamic Environment. A. Collins and J. The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning: Reconceiving Roles for Planning.” Academy of Management Review 31. A.H. p. 85. Shenhar and D. Reinventing Project Management: The Diamond Approach to Successful Growth & Innovation. 209. Plans. But. Hoffman (2005). Heifetz (1994). Drucker (1999). 17.” Proceedings of PMI Research Conference.J. 371–80. In The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning. NY: Harper & Row. p.” Journal of Organizational Behavior 22: 31–42. T.. Extreme Programming Explained: Embrace Change. 397. Built to Last—Successful Habits of Visionary Companies. Peters and R. Melgrati and M. 9 & 16. A. Project Management Success Stories: Lessons of Project Leaders.W. “In Praise of Context. pp. Mintzberg discusses forms of organizations: “Throughout this book. Laufer (2009). New York. Laufer (1996).A. 18. Post. A. NY: Free Press. 15. p. we have repeatedly criticized the ‘one best way’ thinking in the management literature. NY: Harper Collins. G. Leadership without Easy Answers. Management Challenges for the 21st Century. . NY: AMACOM.” H. p. Planners. Bennis and P. DC: NASA. Beck (2000). Software Project Management: A Unified Framework. Boston. MA: Addison-Wesley. “Rethinking the Project Management Framework: New Epistemology New Insights. Washington. Cambridge. New York. Mintzberg (1994). B. NY: Harper Collins. American Management Association.I. Shared Voyage: Learning and Unlearning from Remarkable Projects. p. “Van de Ven and Johnson’s Engaged Scholarship: Nice Try. Newtown Square. Johns (2001). New York. Biederman (1996).A. New York. MA: Addison-Wesley.. Reading. Boston. Hoffman (2000). Damiani (2002). New York. The “one best way” approach came under sharp attack by Henry Mintzberg as well. New York. MA: Harvard University Press.C. Laufer. Boston. MA: Harvard Business School Press. and E. Royce (1998). Breaking the Code of Project Management. Waterman (1982).F. W. A. 16. 4: 822–29. See also: K. W.
regarding Uncertainty Avoidance. CA: Sage Thousand Oaks.M.T.05.) (2004). Indeed. R.S. Because stories are highly context-sensitive.S. New York.” Handbook of Motivation and Cognition. additional data was collected. and Israel is quite small.15. the distance between the highest and the lowest scores was 2. Culture. and Israel in terms of size. although the distance between the highest and the lowest scores was 2.49. culturally they seem as if they are not so far apart. 20. Clandinin and F. although the distance between the highest and the lowest scores was 1. 32. 465–502. p. House. Athough there are clear differences between the U. the distance between the U. D.07. their use should facilitate the required shift from a context-free mindset to a context-specific one. but the distance between the U. CA: Jossey-Bass. A comprehensive comparison study of culture in 62 societies found that the “cultural distance” between the U.S.14.). Regarding Human Orientation.J. with the coauthors of the current book. NY: Guilford. Sorrentino and E. Alexander Laufer. history. P. pp. Javidan. P. disregarding the issue of leadership. Hanges. Edward Hoffman.S. San Francisco. M. the original data was revisited. in comparing the “one best way” approach with a story-based approach. “The Paradigmatic and Narrative Modes in Goal-Guided Inference.91. and the cases were completely rewritten. and Organizations: The GLOBE Study of 62 Societies. various researchers have reached the same conclusion that context is ever present in narrative thinking (the narrative account of an experience). Zukier (1986). and Zvi Ziklik. For example. See: H.J. M.S.J. and Israel was only 0. Higgins (Eds. and security. The original focus of the previous study was on project context. Thousand Oaks. Connelly (2000). and V. Todd Post.W. the distance between the U. 21. and Israel was only 0. See: R. Leadership. IntroductIon • LearnIng from the Best PractItIoners 17 19. this time with a focus on leadership and management. and Israel was only 0. . The data for these cases was originally collected by Dora Cohenca-Zall. Together. Dorfman. Similarly. Gupta (Eds. Narrative Inquiry: Experience and Story in Qualitative Research. regarding Power Distance.
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1 Developing a Missile: The Power of Autonomy and Learning by Alexander Laufer. The original program manager of JASSM was put in place at the 19 . I asked about the person who I would be replacing. At the time. “In late December 1995. and I wasn’t happy about it at all. and I was quite content there. Dan Ward. I was program manager for the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) missile.’ “I knew that at JASSM. I had started the JDAM program. As soon as I got there. I was informed that I was being switched off JDAM to run the JASSM program. I would have to start over and would probably have to cope with a more difficult environment. The Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) program had been launched in April 1995 and only nine months later was already in big trouble. and Alistair Cockburn Doing Business More Like Business Air Force Program Manager Terry Little’s reputation as an innovative program manager preceded him when he was drafted to turn around a program that appeared to be on its way to swift cancellation. I got a call to come in and talk to one of my bosses at the Eglin Air Force Base. and the answer was simply. ‘He wasn’t up to the task.
and show it fast—or don’t expect to be around long. The first was not to repeat any of the mistakes of the past. The Tri-Service Standoff Attack Missile (TSSAM) had been cancelled after six years and several billion dollars in cost overruns. Texas Instruments. focus the contractors on making a serious proposal. That was unacceptable to senior management. The rest was up to me. and do the evaluation.’ I was told as I left my boss’s office. it was unlikely that money would be made available through the next fiscal year. During the few days left . “’You just go down there and do your thing. “When I was brought on. Five companies were interested in competing for the two contracts: Hughes. and all subsequent missile programs had to establish early on that they were not going to repeat the same mistakes made by TSSAM. Raytheon. especially at OSD. “The immediate objective was to award contracts to two competitors that would spend the next two years developing a system under the watchful eye of the government. we still needed to get the formal requirements approved by OSD. Lockheed Martin. one contractor would be awarded production of the missile. meaning the TSSAM program. the attitude down at the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) was: Show that your program is serious. field their proposals. “The second mandate was to get started quickly. Too many things still needed to be done. and McDonell Douglas. and it looked as though it was going to take the government team another year. I guess. It was considered an unmitigated disaster. but they couldn’t find a way to make the source selection quickly. At the end of the two-year evaluation process.20 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent start and given two major mandates. Still reeling from the TSSAM debacle. Nothing more than that in the way of concrete detail. My predecessor and his team had worked on the contract since April. Unless the program established quickly that it was serious about getting on contract.
I could do the fanciest calculations in the world. I had managed to deliver several major projects successfully by implementing practices that were designed to fit the world as I saw it and that often differed from the accepted practices. I realized that my first challenge would be to change the way in which the team perceived reality. At first. and give the people who work for me a sense of confidence in themselves. like me. where everything is quantifiable—if we can’t build a model of something. I had some difficulty convincing the people with whom I worked that it was not the right approach because they. had been brought up to believe that a sharp analytic mind can arrive at a solution for any problem. “Experience was my greatest teacher. “Most of my peers in program management think that the most important aspects of our jobs are making decisions. conducting reviews.Chapter 1 • Developing a Missile: the power of autonoMy anD learning 21 until I actually joined JASSM. It had been a bit easier to . “I stumbled into an understanding of this when I got involved in program management many years ago. but did they have anything to do with determining whether the project was going to be successful? Not at all. but none of the models I was using measured that critical ingredient for success. Programs move ahead because of the activities of people. As in other times throughout my career. I started collecting some information about the status of the program. I gravitated toward an analytical approach because of my background in operations research. I was brought up in the Robert McNamara school of management. In contrast. It became apparent that the JASSM team did not grasp the extent of the dissatisfaction with their achievements. then it doesn’t exist. “It didn’t take me long to figure out that this idea was bankrupt. and controlling performance. my priorities are to develop collaborative relations. foster alliances.
which was part of a wide reform movement in the defense establishment. It was a high-profile Defense Acquisition Pilot Project.’” Brian Rutledge. The main qualities required were the ability to think differently and the energy and zest to do something different. JDAM. They were in a state of disbelief after learning that their boss had been fired over the Christmas holidays. was already familiar with Terry’s no-nonsense approach when he took over JASSM. ‘We are going to get this program on contract within six months. and Florida Power and Light. In order to do business differently. If we don’t do it in six months.22 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent implement these practices in my previous projects because of the classified nature of the projects. my most recent project. It meant throwing out their old paradigms and embracing a new one. there is no program. He recalls that same day from the perspective of the project members: . Motorola. Terry intended to apply the same principle that business would no longer be done as usual: “I called a meeting the first day back after New Year’s with the 20 people who were working on JASSM. had been completely different. I assembled a group of people who were change agents. This pilot program was given a clear mandate: Do business more like business. as they had worked together on a previous project. He had worked with them on this program from the beginning and was well liked. primarily to reinforce the fact that acquisition reform was not just a buzzword. the JASSM financial manager. Out of the blue. I sent the whole team for a two-week training session and for industry visits to Boeing Commercial Aviation. I showed up and told them.” Six Is Not Seven At JASSM. Apple Computers. “However.
said. to do whatever’s necessary to make the bureaucracy move out of our way.’ He scared a lot of people. But here you are giving up. First you need to put aside all of your paradigms and start with one basic assumption: that it’s going to be done in six months. and it seems as though everybody in the OSD needs . He had a reputation. you really don’t get it’—they realized that I was counting on them. and a lot of people were still on Christmas and New Year’s leave. impossible as it may have seemed at the time: “After some initial cries of resistance—‘there’s no way. Some people weren’t sure they would still be in the JASSM program office by the end of the month. He didn’t let me down. ‘We have to figure out how to work together to make this happen. I told them. and you haven’t even started. as a group.Chapter 1 • Developing a Missile: the power of autonoMy anD learning 23 “I knew some of his antics. basically. My job. the project’s systems engineer (and Brian’s wife after the first two years of the project). but Terry scheduled a mandatory meeting and required that everyone show up. before even introducing himself. to rise to the challenge. of not hesitating to fire people when he thought it necessary. is to facilitate things. as the leader here. so I was half expecting something dramatic on his first day. ‘We’re going to be on contract by July.’ That silenced them. literally stopped them in their tracks. perhaps unfairly.” Lynda Rutledge. and anybody who’s not on board with that might as well look for another job. He came into the room where we had assembled and. describes those early days when she had only known Terry for about a month: “We had done a draft of the Single Acquisition Management Plan (SAMP) in the fall of 1995.” Terry’s objective was to empower the team. so that it parts like the Red Sea parted for Moses— that’s my job. It was January 3. The SAMP is the document that lays out how a program will be managed. It’s a project plan.
In a case like this. you can’t do anything more than push and push against the system. he had served only as the project integrator.24 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent to sign off on it. it had grown bigger than he’d wanted. while the plan was actually prepared by the team. JDAM. He didn’t believe that you need to. they farm it out to their leads who have no idea how their piece will be integrated into the whole. in his previous project. Terry read what we had written before he arrived and deemed it ‘a piece of junk. and in the end it’s going to be a Pyrrhic victory at best if it distracts you from the main task at hand— getting on contract. Normally. I think that he rewrote 90 percent of our original draft and cut it down by more than half. which was before Terry’s arrival.’ I remember him closing his office door and disappearing for about five days to rewrite it. to ask questions. a program manager writing his own SAMP. He pushed back on OSD. unified plan. “When I joined JASSM. or for that matter even can. This impressed me more than anything else about him. I’d never seen. Still. but ultimately decided to give in. where Terry had the luxury of selecting his own team and sufficient time to ensure that everyone on board understood and embraced the principles of the reform. This time around. “Terry wanted to present a concise. Terry didn’t shut anyone out and in fact sought input from people. “As I later learned. the project had already formed working groups for each critical . Terry had to adapt his approach to the new conditions under which JASSM was forced to operate: a shortage of time and a team unfamiliar with the reform. He was not going to fall on his sword over a handful of paper. Terry didn’t want a lot of detail. But when the document came back from the OSD. spell out every detail about a program at its start. or even heard of. like mine. One thing about Terry Little is that he knows when to pick his battles. occasionally popping out of his office and showing up at peoples’ desks.
the companies had managed to get what they wanted from the original project manager by whining. I was surprised to find close to a hundred people in the room. they don’t. There are program decisions being made every day without my prior approval. even at the expense of the other team members. he’s not afraid to fail.” Indeed. so I told the contractors that from now on. what they’ve decided— but after I am comfortable with their judgment. and other times.Chapter 1 • Developing a Missile: the power of autonoMy anD learning 25 project area. I will ask him or her to let me know what’s going on. but when something goes wrong. In the first meeting for my area. and that’s why he takes chances. A lot of bosses talk the talk about letting you take risks. Every time they complained. Terry’s management philosophy is based on autonomy and trust: “When it comes to making decisions on the technical aspects of a program. I seldom intervene or get involved in the details. “Now you have to understand that up until that time. I can’t tell you what a big relief it was after starting to work with Terry that I could finally make decisions without having to worry anymore about being overruled every time one of the companies complained. Not Terry. I intended to limit the number of people who could attend the meetings. Sometimes people let me know what was decided. he tried to appease them. So when the contractors went back to the program director and complained about me. My notion about successful working groups was that they should be small. they punish you. Meetings in my area were conducted with the purpose of reaching some consensus on the models. measuring weapon effectiveness to be used by the five companies competing for the contract award. he said that he was shocked by my behavior. People who . I believe in giving them the freedom they need to do their job. When someone is new and I haven’t taken the full measure of them yet.
In the first project we worked on together. We went head to head and he challenged me on every little thing. I had to go in and defend my estimates to him. I had a conversation with a colleague who had a tremendous impact on how I manage and why I place so much importance on establishing goals for the project and ensuring that each member fully embraces them.’ I said. Late one night. The reason he got fired was because he couldn’t figure out Terry’s personality. I think that the key to getting the most out of people. I was joking with him about all the things that he was insisting I do in his area. About a year later. but I stood my ground. He was in charge of security on the program. we were driving together and got involved in a car accident. If you can’t defend it. Neither of us was hurt. From then on. my predecessor finally said. ‘What do you want?’ So after three months. and that trust grew.26 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent want to work for me are the kind of people who are not afraid to be accountable for results. ‘We are going to have all the security we could possibly need. Terry had challenged him on his cost estimate—Why did you do this? Why did you do that? After several rounds of this. but there . ‘I give up. As we were waiting on the side of the road for the police to come.” Mutual accountability and a sense of project ownership are essential to Terry: “Earlier in my career. but he could have been any functional type person. what number do you want?’ But that’s not what Terry wanted to hear. I got promoted. but the car was wrecked and we had to call for help. You don’t ever say to Terry. is to have a high expectation for results.” Regarding commitment and trust. when I brought something to him. Brian Rutledge explains: “Terry expects you to defend your position. ‘You are going to bankrupt the program. I replaced a major who was just fired by Terry. whether they are on the government side or the contractor side. he trusted me. he’ll tear you apart.
in effect.’ His comment led me to start questioning some of the people with whom I worked.’ he told me. At one of the first meetings after Terry came on board. and that their own special area was secondary. “What I found out was that he was not unique—virtually none of the people who worked with me had the same goal that I did.S.Chapter 1 • Developing a Missile: the power of autonoMy anD learning 27 won’t be a program anymore. Security is my job. and I would have to go to the program director to ask which version we were going with—and even then I still didn’t get a clear-cut answer. Terry got us focused fast with the same goal to get on contract in six months.’ ‘That would suit me just fine. That was an enlightening experience for me.” Jackie Leitzel. the contracting officer for the U. I had assumed that everyone I was working with looked at things from the perspective of what was good for the program overall. and he was serious. It was my job alone to care about what was good for the program as a whole. would integrate all of these different narrow vertical goals. and it’s why I believe that it is so critical to make absolutely sure everyone has a clear understanding of what we are trying to do and feels ownership for the goals of the entire project. it’s not what I get measured against. he showed us several charts about teaming and shared goals. I remember it being such a shock to me that he would say.” . I only care about my own sandbox. as the project leader. so I understood what he was saying about the problem of people having different goals. Logistics might be saying one thing while Testing was saying another. that they wanted the whole program to be successful. recalls: “Before Terry arrived. ‘The rest of the program is not my job. Air Force. Their expectation was that I. Before he came. That’s your job.’ “Looking back on this. Suddenly we knew what we were aiming for. ‘I really don’t care about the program. we were just spinning our wheels.
they were all guarded and careful about what they disclosed. but to listen to what they had to say. ‘We’ve looked at that. where we were having problems in the program office. A couple of the companies said. and what approvals we still needed to get from my upper management. we would be much better off in terms of overall cost. ‘Give me some feedback. what had changed since the last time we spoke. and we can do that. Nobody wanted to give away their competitive edge or reveal any weaknesses. Does the path we’re headed down seem right to you? Is there a requirement—or two or three or four—which you think is not going to be consistent with us getting a low-cost system? What I want to know is: Are we spinning our wheels in some area that we don’t really understand. After these group meetings. he encouraged their input on how best to reach it: “I held weekly meetings with representatives from each of the five companies competing for the contract in order to give them an update on where we stood. and overall performance. Tell me specifically about this requirement. where the requirements stood.’ . When they were with the four other competitors. and what are the implications?’ “For example. If we could just start off putting it on one or two planes and get this thing built and fielded. they began to approach these meetings much more seriously. we suggested a requirement to put this weapon on a number of different kinds of airplanes. and then modify it if we need to. I was trying to learn—as opposed to just trying to squeeze information out of them.28 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent Not only did Terry get everyone to agree on the same goal. I would meet with each of the five contractors separately—not to tell them something. but it’s going to take a really long time to go through all of the engineering details. overall schedule. “From my point of view. They started out reserved in the oneon-one meetings. but as they saw that I wasn’t just doing this for my health or because it was polite. I would ask.
I wanted the five companies who were going to bid to be involved in the process of refining the requirements.’ But I didn’t believe that was the way to get the most bang for the buck. the requirement becomes an expectation. The prevailing assumption is that however much time and however much money it takes. which is extremely difficult to change. and you companies are going to learn how to adjust. Typically. rather than after they appear to be cast in stone. ‘Okay. and now it is up to you to go and respond. the government frowned upon doing things that way at this stage of a program. then you call in the contractor and say. Because they were the ones who had to respond to whatever innovations we pitched. flexibility regarding requirements. ‘Here is exactly what we are going to do. it is much easier and much better to carefully think about requirements before they are formulated. Its view was that once you decide on your requirements. “The fact of the matter is that most requirements are just made up by someone. but only up to a certain point. it didn’t seem to me to be in their best interest—or ours—to say. Once I am convinced that we have taken the necessary steps to formulate requirements that meet the needs . As such. this is what we’re going to do. and even encourage.Chapter 1 • Developing a Missile: the power of autonoMy anD learning 29 “By and large. when our vision for the missile was still in flux. So I allow. “One of the major reasons for schedule slippages and cost overruns is uncontrolled growth in requirements. Once a requirement is established and everyone has signed on to it. it doesn’t matter because the requirement is the requirement. but what often happens is that everybody then begins to march as if it’s a law of nature that you’ve got to meet this requirement.’ I thought that the best way to improve our chances of getting a quality product was to allow for some give-and-take at this stage. we’ve got it all figured out. a requirement starts off as somebody’s opinion or view of what would be good.
Ideally. You have to do that to make sure the engineers understand that the success or failure of their activity depends on what the ultimate cost is. I have found it useful—and this doesn’t come easy to me—to create a very bureaucratic process for changing requirements. “Our aim was to demonstrate that we could produce this missile for low cost. ‘Go and design the next generation whatever-kind-of-car. Terry stressed to his team that part of a technical requirement has to be cost: “Cost is a technical issue.’ which is a critical performance parameter that has to do with how visible the cruise missile is on radar. Basically. ‘Okay. you would want it to be . They accept ownership of performance. and to treat it as something different is crazy. but cost and schedule are somebody else’s problem. The trick is to define performance in a way that permits the team to meet the requirements of the system within the constraints of affordability. “We ran into this problem with ‘radar cross section.” Throughout the entire process.’ then after it is designed ask. The thing about engineers is that they generally do not accept ownership of cost and schedule.30 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent of the customers and which are fully understood by them. Imagine a car manufacturer telling its engineers. now can we sell it? Is there a market for something that costs this much?’ It’s a question of establishing the affordable price for a system and then trading off either performance or schedule to meet that price as long as the Key Performance Parameters are met. What I did was make cost an intrinsic part of the technical requirements for designing the missile. I say there will be no changes in requirements until the customers understand the cost and schedule implications of the change and explicitly agree to those implications. It is quite amazing to see how a process that simply establishes accountability for requirements growth promotes better discipline and yields a more realistic schedule and budget.
Chapter 1 • Developing a Missile: the power of autonoMy anD learning 31 totally invisible. You can spend infinite amounts of money on this. My hope was that by making him a member of our team. so you have to decide what you are willing to accept and can still afford. the question was: How much better should we go? We had engineers who were very eager to go four or five orders of magnitude better on this parameter. “To invite him in was a risk because I couldn’t control what he was going to see. and he was known for grilling people hard about how they put together their cost estimates. Nobody was really happy. he would feel accountable for the product. rather than an adversary with whom we had to struggle to get the program going. ‘We don’t need to be any better than the predecessor program. Then there were the cost people saying. I had him interfacing with all of our engineers and anybody we were working with to help build the cost estimates. while the bean counters whined about the risk. Brian knew that the program could not move forward without the approval of the Cost Analysis Improvement Group (CAIG): “They’re the cops of the cost world. but I had worked on other programs before JASSM. ‘I don’t understand . and I knew that the worst thing you could have happen was for someone on the CAIG to say. what I decided was somewhere in between the engineers and the cost people. We don’t want to reach for something and spend a lot of money and then not make it.” As the financial manager. What I did was invite one of his deputies to work directly with my cost team. The head cop at the CAIG was the one who had to sign off on the program. The way I saw it. The engineers whined that I wasn’t being ambitious or aggressive enough. In the end.’ Ultimately. it turned out to be a good match of cost and performance. and they are there to challenge your assumptions. Let’s stay on ground that we know will not collapse beneath us.
Each time he lit up. went to his boss and said. he had to leave the office and go outside the building. those two things can overcome just about anything. “All he needed was a little direction. If you ask me.’ Even though he was doing an independent estimate in parallel. The only thing that slowed us down was his chain smoking. but he was intelligent and had a passion for what he did. He. “Other people would never have considered recruiting this guy for their team. he wasn’t in high demand. The room reeked of cigarettes.’ Fortunately.’” Brian knew that getting the job done required the ability to adapt to the situation.’ The person who managed the building complained.32 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent all your data or where your numbers are coming from. ‘They have credible numbers. ‘You’re not leaving! Open the window and smoke. “I had one person helping me to crunch numbers. We’d be the only ones in the building at 11:00 at night and he’d be smoking like a fiend. even if it sometimes meant a willingness to deviate from the norm: “Our plan called for completing the source selection in three weeks. When I recruited him. he knew that our data was good because we shared all of it with him. Finally. and then breathe. Three weeks. but I knew he would get the job done. I suspect that . in turn. He loved the intensity. In fact. I’ll take the heat for it. I said. so I kept him focused on which way to go. and we worked insane hours during those three weeks. the source selection was done before he could mobilize the bureaucracy against us. Three weeks to review the proposals and choose the two companies who would compete for the next two years. ‘We’re going to throw you out of here if you keep this up. but we got the job done. a lot of people around Eglin Air Force Base thought he was off the wall—and he was. He was definitely high maintenance.
“’We don’t want to be treated differently.’ I said it wasn’t worth sacrificing the morale of the rest of the team to keep her on.” .” As Lynda Rutledge discovered.’ He listened to me. ‘What kind of example does that set for junior people when they see somebody senior behaving that way? Is that the example you want to set for future leaders? It’s unacceptable. ‘What do you mean?’ he asked. I told him that I thought it was. ‘When she’s here. So I told him. It’s just not worth the technical benefit she brings to the program. sometimes keeping the right people in the right job at the right time is a hard call to make: “Terry gives women more latitude than he does men. much to his chagrin. and the problem didn’t go away either. One day Terry asked me. “Then he asked me what I would do.’ I said. I think. ‘You’re a male chauvinist. He still wasn’t getting it. and I took him to task for it once. That’s when I told him. The program was a roller coaster ride as it was.’ he explained.’ I said. ‘You treat women differently than men.’ he said. because he knew I had the most contact with her. if I thought her absence was having a negative effect on the program. You have to get the right people for the right job at the right time. ‘I’d get rid of her. ‘But technically she’s good.’ I could tell he was mortified. I just like to give women more latitude. but he didn’t get rid of her.Chapter 1 • Developing a Missile: the power of autonoMy anD learning 33 he never enjoyed himself as much as he did those three weeks during source selection. as he continued to compensate for her absences. “’Well. A woman in a leadership position on our team was vanishing for long periods without any explanation.’ I pointed out. and it was bad for morale when someone whom you relied on to make decisions was disappearing for long stretches and holding people back.
’ “Personally. we had managed to cut a 1. When all was said and done. though. the compromise was to have them all turn in videotaped presentations at the same time.” Although they did get their oral presentations. Unfortunately. what their strengths are. They think we should write an all-encompassing Request for Proposal. Lynda and Terry were in complete harmony about the need to change the usual way of doing source selection and the need to cut down the enormous amount of information requested by the government team. that defeated the whole purpose of doing an oral presentation because we missed out on the dialogue. and then go read the thing in our hole and say. and to do that sight unseen.000-page proposal down to what could be adequately addressed in a four-hour oral presentation. and how you’re going to team with them. In the end. and the companies argued that scheduling the presentations on different days meant that some of them would have more time to prepare than others. I mean.34 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent When it came to devising the process for selecting the two contractors. hand it over to contractors. Lynda describes the need for less paper and more personal interaction: “Many people in the government don’t want to talk to contractors prior to source selection. Terry fought to have the companies do oral presentations instead of simply turning in a written proposal. I just think that a decision worth billions of dollars should not rely on a piece of paper. I think it’s absurd to choose a contractor without talking to them and finding out who they are. . Let’s face it. Lynda tells how the process was not without its problems: “Upper management worried about our ability to evaluate live performances. Considering that the selection was to be equally based on their past performances and their current proposals. ‘We pick you. get an all-encompassing document back. a contract is like a marriage.
. this is goofy. I’ve never heard this before. I wasn’t the only person who considered the videotaped presentations a waste of time. ‘What’s this guy thinking?’ I said. “When we got the final presentation tapes. 1996. some of the contractors had hired professional actors to narrate. the reason we are doing it this way is. he directed someone to make a viewgraph stating this goal: Be on contract by July 1. Brian Rutledge recalls a small gesture that took on far greater meaning than he ever thought it would: “After Terry said that we were going to be on contract in six months. We raised hands. He wanted it pinned up in everybody’s cubicle. I thought. which were face-to-face with government evaluators. We had the ability to say to our counterparts on the contractor side. ‘It’s like we’re in kindergarten. ‘Oh man.Chapter 1 • Developing a Missile: the power of autonoMy anD learning 35 “Nobody was more anxious about the oral presentations than the companies who were doing them. At first. They worried that their engineers weren’t going to be effective presenters or go off on a tangent and never get back to the point. ‘Hey.’ That was invaluable. gave acting a shot. and most of us who were doing the evaluations turned off the tapes and did our evaluations based on the slides. I know what we’re doing. asked questions.’ . the companies’ engineers. They got nervous after the dry runs. I just rolled my eyes. I don’t need to have a reminder on the wall. ‘Well. In other cases. I don’t understand what you’re talking about..’ And then they would respond back. I don’t get what you’re saying. That was it. and cut in.’ When I talked to other people working in the program office. and that’s what you really need to do in order to evaluate and understand somebody’s proposal. bless their hearts. There was plenty of dialogue then.” Terry had his way of making sure everyone stayed on message. The companies all submitted written slides to accompany their presentations.
‘How should we make the right decision?’ Now. I had to admit that there was something to it. ‘Hey. we’ve figured out ways to work faster. I eventually found myself stopping to think. there . all the things that were in their heads as a result of their experiences and what they had been told in the past. I saw it there every day when I walked up to my desk. to essentially give up. There were a lot of people saying. “What I wanted to do was set a goal that would challenge these folks to look at things in an entirely new way. ‘What am I doing to get to that point. ‘because the difference between six months and seven months is that seven months isn’t the goal.’ “The result was that problems didn’t remain unsolved for long. I wanted something so outrageous that it would cause them.36 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent “But after a few months.’ I said. or can it be seven?’ ‘No. but then—once they figured out that giving up wasn’t an option—to step back and examine all their assumptions. and to ask themselves with a clean slate: ‘What do I really need to do to achieve this goal?’ “As they ran into hard times. I would have been happy to be on contract at the end of seven months or even eight months. I didn’t want a schedule that they felt they could achieve just by working on weekends or figuring out a handful of inventive ways to do things. and what can I cut out of my work that’s preventing me from getting there? How am I getting distracted from the goal?’” An unexpected admission by Terry revealed the essence of his philosophy: “The truth is that I pulled the number six out of my hat. first. but I would never have told the team that. all their beliefs. they wanted to negotiate. People no longer scratched their heads and asked one another. but does it really have to be six months.
everybody marshaled their energies together to try to figure out quickly. and is there a quicker way to accomplish it? How can we cut another day. ‘What is it that we’ve got in front of us to do. and making sure that they didn’t make any mistakes. Forget about chronology. They wouldn’t let any given problem cause the rest of the team to fail.’ they kept working on it every day to figure out. When we talked about it afterwards. ‘How do we move forward? How do we either solve the problem or get around it?’ “Even after they got to the point where it became fairly certain that they were going to meet the six-month deadline. that event. and so on. following the rules. The team addressed all problems. what the team discovered was that they hadn’t known how capable they could be if they just quit thinking about things in the way they had always thought about them. having run into some kind of unanticipated problem. it wasn’t a chart to mark off this event. another two days. our mark would go back down to 60 percent. ‘Oh no. and the next week. now let’s coast.” . making good decisions.Chapter 1 • Developing a Missile: the power of autonoMy anD learning 37 was a level of commitment that meant any problem had to be attacked with a sledgehammer. They achieved what they did as a result of passion. as opposed to being smart. and focus. People would look at that and say. People were proud of themselves. we completed the source selection in less than five months. commitment. When a problem was detected. no matter whose area it was in. and with good cause. Some days we put our progress at 70 percent. But. another three days?’ “We kept a chart to measure our progress. they were so imbued with energy and passion for achieving the goal that instead of saying. it was a chart that graphed how much we had accomplished and how much we had left to do. At the end of the day. we’ve got to step it up!’ “What we achieved was something even better than six months. ‘Okay.
I switched from being the financial lead in the government program office to being program manager on a helper team for McDonnell Douglas. B. the government conducted a two-day review of the design of each company. brought the best experts. and provided candid feedback. At the end of this phase. C. At the end of the two years. testing.4 million and will go head-to-head over the next two years to win the final contract. Because they were at different stages of maturity. “When we down-selected from five companies to two. The role of a helper team was to assist your company in winning the contract at the end of the two . D. We let the competition give us the assurance that we were going to get good value for the money. we would judge them on that and pick the one we believed was best able to carry us on through the rest of the program. and production of at least 2. However. the Department of Defense will award one of the contractors approximately $3 billion for the development.” Brian Rutledge explains the process further: “What was unique about JASSM was that we let the companies decide what they were going to do during the two years. we didn’t present to them a Statement of Work and say you have to do A. Each of the companies was awarded contracts totaling $237. Every six months.400 JASSMs. and E.38 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent We Would Shoot Granny for a Dollar Jackie Leitzel describes the Program Definition and Risk Reduction phase of the JASSM. we gave them the opportunity to tailor what it was they were going to do over the next two years. which started in June 1996 at the end of the six-month source selection process: “The two defense contractors finally chosen to compete in the Program Definition and Risk Reduction phase were Lockheed Martin Integrated Systems and McDonnell Douglas Aerospace.
Chapter 1 • Developing a Missile: the power of autonoMy anD learning
years. When we began, six government people were assigned to each of the helper teams. We all came from the JASSM program office at Eglin Air Force Base. Winning was the goal. Forget about the old goal of getting on contract in six months. We had a new goal. “I stayed in that position for the duration of the competition, and about halfway into it, McDonnell Douglas merged with Boeing. Our program office was then absorbed into the Boeing organization, and I started splitting my time between Eglin in Florida and the company’s main facility in St. Louis. Soon after we moved into our offices in St. Louis, Terry asked the vice president at McDonnell Douglas/Boeing in charge of JASSM whether he wanted to reconsider having government helpers. ‘Oh no, I want to continue this,’ he said, ‘these people are integral in helping us make decisions.’ And we were. He often asked for my advice on how we should present this or that problem to the government team back home. When I was with the government team, my job was to show why my company earned an “A” grade on the evaluation criteria. At this point, you could say I might as well have been wearing a company uniform. Winning was everything. Naturally, I couldn’t do anything illegal, but all else was fair game. I’ll say this, it was the best job I ever had working for the government in terms of having a clear direction.” Terry describes his role in the competition: “I picked the helpers. Their job was to support their respective company—not to look after the government’s interest, not to make sure the company didn’t do something stupid, not to bring home secrets to me—just to help that company win, period. And the reason that was in the government’s interest was because at the end of the two years, we wanted to face a difficult decision when we selected the winning company.
Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent
“The government’s role should be to ensure the success of the project, and the way to do that is not to oversee or second-guess the contractor—the way to do that is by helping the contractor. Help the contractor to do things that the contractor can’t do or that the government can do better. The helper teams set the stage for what I wanted the government’s role to be two years later when we got down to one contractor. When we finally got down to the one company that was going to do the job, I wanted to have already established a working relationship in which we were open, straight, candid, and—most of all—trusting of one another. I clearly understood that you can’t do that by just saying it is so. It just doesn’t work that way. “Now, there were a lot of people above me who were against this. Their view was, ‘The guy who loses will protest or create a legal problem for us because he will argue that you gave him weak people or that his competitive position got inadvertently disclosed by these government people.’ But the companies had the capabilities to get rid of any government person they chose at any time for any reason. In other words, the companies were the ones deciding what ‘help’ was and whether or not they were getting it. If they had thought that they needed someone else with a different talent or expertise, I would have done whatever I could to get it for them.” Larry Lawson, the project manager for Lockheed Martin Corporation, reflects on the need to stop doing “business as usual:” “Before acquisition reform, the government said to its contractors, ‘Follow these military standards and everything will be okay.’ From a contractor’s point of view, that was a comfortable place to be. Contractors understood the ‘old way’ of business, where we knew what the government wanted. There was more time, less risk, and more money.
Chapter 1 • Developing a Missile: the power of autonoMy anD learning
“Then came along Terry Little, who was quick to say, ‘We don’t have the time, we don’t have the funds, and we don’t have the answers. We want a missile in half the time for half the price. This is what’s important to us. We have three key performance parameters: system effectiveness, range, and carrier operability. These things are not tradable; everything else is. You will have the freedom to put together your approach that meets our three key performance parameters, and along with that, we will ask for a long-term, bumper-to-bumper warranty to back up the quality of your approach. The objective is a dramatic reduction in acquisition time and funds. You either understand that or you are out of the game.’ “Terry took a very aggressive approach on standards and detailed specifications. He told me, ‘Larry, throw all the military standards out. You don’t have to follow them. I don’t want you to reference a single military standard.’ This was an extreme approach intended to force change—the type of change that was required if we were going to make unprecedented inroads in cutting the time required to field weapons. Suddenly we found ourselves in an environment where our customer was saying, ‘If you want to win, you can’t do things the old way. Here’s the way it is now. We did the last down-select 50 percent on past performance. Now the rules are different. Affordability is going to be foremost. The contractor who can provide the best price—and is somebody that we can work with—is going to win.’ “That was a wake-up call to me. I remember realizing that we were going down the wrong road. We were moving ahead with a performance-oriented agenda. We had to change what we were doing and drive everything toward affordability, and we did. One of our engineers was quoted a few months later as saying, ‘We would shoot granny for a dollar.’
Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent
“Of course, change is seldom comfortable. We were in a purely experimental space, which is a disconcerting place to be at times. We moved forward with the vision to create a significantly different model for the missile design, system test, subcontracting, and production, but change was slower to happen in some areas. As a contractor, it is sometimes frustrating when you are going down an acquisition reform path only to find out that it isn’t possible. Looking to place blame for the cost and schedule impacts could have split our team, but we took our lumps and moved on. “We were not known as a cruise missile producer, so most of our team wasn’t burdened with preconceptions of how to proceed. Using the customer’s overarching vision, we opened our eyes to all possible methods, which allowed us to synthesize the design that stands today. The folks that couldn’t get the vision moved on. Those who remained understood the Air Force vision, and we shaped our own. “We recognized that we had to dramatically reduce cost while still keeping the performance bar high. A fully integrated systems design approach to meet performance at the defined cost targets was our only hope of obtaining a reliable and affordable solution. For instance, it was understood that cruise missiles were built in sections and then integrated in final assembly. That approach wasn’t affordable and didn’t contribute in any way to performance. We decided on a uni-body approach, which would reduce material cost and assembly labor, and we were not going to build the missile fuselage out of metal. We said, ‘We’re going to build it out of composites, and we’re going to use boating industry processes.’ “Acquisition reform forced us to take a whole new look at the way we did things. We outsourced work any time we realized that we could do something more affordably with suppliers. I won’t deny that there were conflicts within the organization,
Chapter 1 • Developing a Missile: the power of autonoMy anD learning
but we were able to convince people that this was what it took to win—taking a risk and not surrendering to political pressure. “For example, we normally would have built the composites at our legendary Skunk Works facility in Palmdale, California. Now, because affordability meant everything, we went with a supplier instead. It would have been lower risk and superior quality to do it at Palmdale, but it was going to cost us more money. “We found a company outside of Boston that had been in the business of making baseball bats and golf club shafts. They had never built a military product, but they knew how to weave carbon fiber and were open-minded, and we were committed to making them successful. So we took this small company from being a baseball bat provider to being a cruise missile supplier, and it was a remarkable transformation. “The first prototype they built took a long time, and the end product didn’t measure up. When they built the second one, they had learned what things they didn’t have to do or be concerned about, and so the second prototype was a better product that took about half as long to build. By the time they started work on the sixth one, they knew exactly where they had to be concerned with the strength of this thing as they were putting it together and they knew exactly where they could reduce their cost. “I have to give the credit to the folks at Palmdale. In spite of the fact that they were going to lose the work, they found the Boston company for us. They also helped find a supplier for our missile wings. One of the fellows at Palmdale knew about a company that built surfboards. He said, ‘Hey, look, I think this wing is the same kind of thing that they do with surf boards.’ We went down to their factory in a disadvantaged section of Los Angeles and bought the equipment for them. Now they make cruise missile wings using surfboard technology.
I was there. they understood that it was because I wanted to know about what they were doing. for one thing. I couldn’t do a thing. ‘What are you going to do with that?’ And I said. but I knew that he wouldn’t have told me any of this stuff about the prime if he hadn’t believed me. The fact that I was there and willing to spend a whole day looking at his facility. ‘Not to worry. even though we at Lockheed Martin faced the challenge of not having a platform to start with. and I think he accepted this. A lot of these people never see any government people. “What is the prime making you do or causing you to do that you think is worthless or not value-added enough to offset the cost?” As he tells it: “A representative from the prime was present. and so there was a little bit of nervousness on the part of the supplier. “As I was writing all this down. and he knew that. I told the representative from the prime to go get a cup of coffee. “Typically. Legally. How did I gain his trust? “Well. so when I showed up at their facility. except for inspectors. highly motivated people who were not locked into accepted solutions or preconceptions defined by military standards. and we don’t have a contract with these suppliers. we were in a better position of being responsive to the government’s objectives. the government says. he asked.’ . Terry visited one of the contractors’ suppliers and asked him. A government program manager does not normally go to visit the suppliers of a prime contractor.’ I made it clear to him that I was going to protect him.44 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent “From my perspective.” In that same competitive spirit. meeting his people. I ended up with about three pages full of stuff that the supplier said was causing him headaches. and talking to them about the program and how important their contributions were—that was a big deal to him. ‘Our contract is with the prime. Success was realized by creative.
” On the need to be aggressive in cutting costs. I believe it’s important to communicate with everybody involved in the outcome of a program. and so on. as the government program manager. do that. go to them and say. this guy from the prime came back to me and explained how they’d addressed everything on the list except for one thing. and there are all kinds of smaller companies that provide the engine. At the end of the two years. “I understand that I can’t go to these suppliers and start making demands. ‘Tell me what I can do to help you do your job better. and he gave me a detailed and satisfactory explanation as to why the one thing was still important to do. theoretically. the government would select a contractor who promised technical competency at a good price.’ A week later. the fuses. This was no secret. In everything the companies were doing in this phase. the warhead. Yes. an actual legal relationship with them. because I don’t have an official means.Chapter 1 • Developing a Missile: the power of autonoMy anD learning 45 Maybe that’s true. but think about this in terms of common sense. but it doesn’t mean that I can’t. that’s not my problem. Am I just going to close my eyes to that? We have two big companies putting together a cruise missile. .’ or ‘I’m not very interested in any of them’—to me that seems insane.’ “I gave the three pages to the prime without any explanation other than. they had to work to convince the government that they had gotten the price of this missile down. I had no problem with that. That was fine. ‘Well. ‘This is what he told me. Brian tells us: “At this stage of the game. it is true that we can’t be in there undermining the relationship between the prime and the suppliers. But for me to just say. do this. the affordability of the missile was rated higher than its technical capability. A large part of the success of the program depends on what the suppliers to my contractor are doing.
they used disciplined processes. There was no doubt that .’ I could not convince them that they had to be more aggressive in their production pricing. and I think they did not take the stance of being aggressive enough on their pricing. ‘What is it that we need to change? Where is it that we need to put more emphasis? Where is it that we need to get rid of people? Where is it that we need to spend more money?’ Every time they got feedback. “The other company listened to our feedback. One company was clearly the stronger of the two. but when they got feedback from the government. However. and after their reviews would go back and decide. ‘That’s not good enough to keep out the other guy. they saw it as an opportunity to adapt. and this was something that frustrated me throughout the process. The one that lost didn’t do a bad job. We need to find some other ways to get this price down lower than he is willing to go. it was not a difficult choice.” Terry recalls: “When it came to choosing which company would be awarded the contract. they argued—’But you just don’t understand.46 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent “As one of the Boeing helpers. we would have liked for it to have been a difficult decision. instead of listening to us and looking at what they were doing. they’d been the cruise missile contractors. the DOD chose Lockheed Martin Corporation. Historically. I told them where I thought they should be in terms of a production price at the end to win the contract. I kept arguing. who is very hungry and wants to get into the cruise missile business. and I tried to get them to change. In the end. They had the resources to be very aggressive in pricing the missile.’ It was as though they had their plan and nothing was going to cause them to deviate from that. They had good engineers.
and prototyping was an essential part of their strategy. do the simulation. ‘How do we convince ourselves that we know how to build this in an affordable way?’ You do prototyping up front and then see if something works like you think it will. but eventually you reach your goal. The company that won was not afraid to learn from its mistakes. Sometimes it will. most of the time it won’t. Their suppliers complained that the prime was unwilling to give them the money to build prototypes. Eventually they overcame it.Chapter 1 • Developing a Missile: the power of autonoMy anD learning 47 by the time we got to the last review. it rarely happens the way we predict with our models. In the long run. put them in the model. we can run through the numbers. it saves you money. everybody knew who was going to win. “The company that lost also had another big problem. and it will all come out just like it is supposed to. But guess what? In the real world. Somebody should have asked.” We’re Married Now Lockheed’s Larry Lawson discusses the change in the way his team had to interact with the government team after winning the contract: “Soon after we won the contract to be the sole source provider on JASSM. but by then it was too late. Terry and I realized that the majority of his people . “Prototyping is a wonderful way of learning. The reason people want it to be that way is because prototyping is not cheap—it is not cheap in terms of the money or the time required to do it. yet we don’t do enough of it because we would like to believe that if we simply get enough smart people together. It is messy and sometimes you are embarrassed with the results. but then you learn from that.
‘Let me be clear. And they were invaluable in other ways. “After months of working seven-day weeks. At our first offsite after the contract award. He moved his office into our facility and sat across the hall from me. People got to know one another and realized that they weren’t slimy contractors or inconsiderate government employees. Their job up to this point had been to measure us and to critique us so that they could do a source selection. Were they all motivated to make this program successful? Almost universally. Everything before flight testing . Terry got up to speak and said. Divorce would be devastating. For the program to continue moving ahead. “Whenever Terry or I felt like his people were reverting to their traditional role of overseeing the contractor. We had to all play as a team now. our first missile launch after the contract award failed.’ “Our offsites were crucial in maintaining the focus and reinforcing the message that we were all working together as a team. the answer was yes. These were real people with real commitments to what they were working on. I invited them to all of our meetings. “The first thing I did was bring several of the government folks into our facility. this led to an offsite with the whole team. all responsible for the success of the program. We must work together—so don’t come to me with a bunch of domestic squabbles. and I also made Terry’s deputy my number two person. we met with the key individuals involved to talk about it. Our first launch! This worried me because up until that point. his people could not be in the critique mode any longer. some of our innovative designs were unproven other than through extensive subsystem testing and detailed modeling. Invariably. we’re married now.48 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent needed to become helpers—not just the handful who worked with us during the rolling down-select.
I want a report every day. I asked him to send down three or four people from his test organization who had expertise in specific areas. We don’t trust you. by the way. and I want to have an independent technical review. “Teams are defined by how they react in adversity—and how their leaders react. He did not send his people in to stand over our shoulders and say. Oh. ‘We need six months to figure this out. He decided.’ But that’s not what he said.’ His decision demonstrated trust. I think. and six weeks later shot a missile and it flew beautifully. But the failure focused the team on challenging all requirements and on testing every detail prior to flight. He sent them down. and the team was shaken. The problem was associated with some test-related analog circuitry requested by the safety team.’ Instead. At that moment.Chapter 1 • Developing a Missile: the power of autonoMy anD learning 49 is substantiating data and simulation. “It was the defining moment for the program. The lessons learned by this team about how to respond to adversity enabled us to solve bigger challenges and keep the remainder of the test program on track. ‘You really messed up here. ‘I’m going to let you solve this problem. “It turned out that there was nothing inherently wrong with the system. Terry’s reaction. We would not break the schedule. and it set the tenor for how we moved forward as a program. We redesigned the circuit. “A tremendous effort had gone into that first shot. ‘Are we up to it or not?’ We were all determined to get it fixed. The competitive phase didn’t allow either team to fly.’ Terry could have said. we all questioned ourselves. ‘I don’t trust you. That was no doubt one of the most pleasing moments in my career. Terry did the right thing. He did not roll in on us. The status quo response would have been. and they went to work. he asked me if I wanted some help. and we turned the failure into a challenge to correct the problem by the next scheduled shot date. was absolutely right.” .
Jackie Leitzel sums up the success of the U.50 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent And stay on track it did.000 per unit. government-Lockheed Martin JASSM team: “Although the estimated unit cost of JASSM when the program was launched in 1995 was $800.” . in recognition of their exemplary innovations in the defense acquisition process.000. the team received the DoD’s highest acquisition honor. Pete Aldridge. the David Packard Excellence in Acquisition Award. the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition. and Logistics. In June 2002. which was presented by C.S. the contract was awarded to Lockheed Martin in 1998 for a cost of $400. Technology.
2 Building of Memory: Managing Creativity Through Action by Alexander Laufer. Now that the public has possessed the complex. The 45-acre site located near Jerusalem contains several museums and various research and educational centers. I often become a voyeur and watch visitors’ reactions and listen to their conversations. When I am there. and Jeffrey Russell Initial Stages: Making Progress by Splitting Yad Vashem is a memorial site to the six million Jews killed by the Nazis. who is a leading international designer. shape. form. It seemed that every move. which opened in March 2005. The architect of this museum. At Yad Vashem. Moshe Safdie. I am amazed at the diversity of interpretations and reactions. concludes his book Yad Vashem—The Architecture of Memory as follows: “No design I have ever undertaken was so charged with symbolic associations. and sequence elicited multiple interpretations and endless debate. I have always wondered if architecture is capable of evoking the same emotions that we experience listening to music. Zvi Ziklik. The largest museum on site is the new Holocaust History Museum. I am constantly aware of how intensely personal the feelings provoked are and how individual 51 .
he was a member of the project team and head of the client organization at the same time. the project manager of the Holocaust History Museum. Shimon was worried that such rivalry would hurt collaboration between the other members of the project team and that it would eventually hamper project progress. Avner. also served as chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate of the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority. That is. It should be noted that both the chief curator and the architect enjoyed a unique and powerful status in the project.” Shimon Kornfeld.52 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent and particular. Shimon was already an experienced project manager at the time and was used to internal conflicts in his project teams. Shimon realized that navigating between these two strong personalities and their respective teams would require a great deal of creativity on his own part as well. But this time was different. he had learned to appreciate such conflicts because of their eventual positive impact on the quality of the team’s decisions. and his proposal had been selected by an independent committee composed of highly esteemed experts and public figures. It was also difficult to reconcile diverging opinions in an analytical way because at this creative stage of the project. These conflicts often sounded more like a competition between two fierce opponents rather than a healthy debate between two members of the same team. however rarely. who is regarded as a world renowned architect. most decisions were based more on ideas and less on facts. and the architect Moshe Safdie. Avner Shalev. had been awarded this project through an international competition. the chief curator. Loud voices and even shouting were known to accompany the passionate and intense debates about the fundamental concepts of the design that constantly took place between the chief curator of the museum. . It is at these moments that I feel architecture can. move us as deeply as music can. Safdie. recalls another kind of music that prevailed when he was appointed to lead the project from the early stages of the design. Over the years.
I wanted just the basic structure—concrete walls and floors and glass to let the light in from above. The concern on the curators’ side was that the spectacular design of the building would be so dominant that it would stand by itself as a memorial and would overshadow the central role of the exhibitions. it is no surprise that Shimon came to the following conclusion: “The contractor will be required to ‘sculpt’ the concrete elements in order to realize the architect’s wild dream. the unique shape of Safdie’s structure worrying the curators was the very reason that his design had been chosen.” Shimon approached an expert in executing complex elements made of “architectural concrete” and asked him to examine the feasibility of executing the proposed design. We were worried that certain components of this unique and extraordinary monument might be impossible to execute. jointless. The truth is that Shimon himself was also very concerned about the design of the structure: “The museum’s central bloc was designed as a prism that penetrates into the ground and ‘erupts’ from it. Because of the nature of this project—remembering the Holocaust—both designers were totally committed to the success of the mission.” Thus. could not have dealt with these two designers like he would have any other member of the project team. as an unsupported protrusion. at varying angles.” The architect explained his radical demands: “I was determined to cast the entire museum monolithically. Shimon. therefore. They were simply too powerful. unadorned—without any exterior waterproofing or cladding or any interior insulation or finishes.53 Thus. the project manager. but each one felt that the other side was somehow attempting to “own” the entire project. The walls of the prism envelope had a unique architectural design based on ‘exposed concrete’ elements with no external cladding or coating. Ironically. The expert provided a list of recommendations to .
Undertaking this tour. the curators.” Even the director general of Yad Vashem. had designed buildings of similar character that had been successfully executed and that served as a source of inspiration and a place of pilgrimage. it was only one component of it. was not fully satisfied with the design of the building: “During the project.’” Still. however. we saw structures that were amazing in their complexity. as well as other leading architects around the world. I really did not know how one can build the external envelope of this unique building. The cost of the entire project was estimated at 100 million dollars. Safdie suggested that they visit a few of these sites abroad.54 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent render the execution more feasible. Ishai requested that Shimon split the . but only a few of his recommendations were accepted by Safdie. I had some harsh arguments with Shimon and with Shimon’s predecessor about the management of the design and particularly about our proceedings vis-á-vis Safdie. despite some discomfort on the part of the client. did not alleviate Shimon’s concerns: “On the tour. Ishai Amrami. I felt that they avoided confrontations with the famous architect and in several cases. but at that time only 45 million dollars had already been procured. and the project manager with some aspects of the design. The project that Shimon was managing was much larger and covered additional buildings and infrastructure work throughout the Yad Vashem site. In an attempt to convince Shimon. the architect seemed to have the power and the determination to stick to his design. chose to ‘sacrifice’ the functionality of a certain area for the ‘benefit’ of an ‘architectural whim. Given that the estimated cost of the museum building was about 40 million dollars. Although the new Holocaust History museum was the heart of the new development at Yad Vashem. Safdie reiterated his opinion that the project must be imparted with a unique character and that he himself. but the structure designed for Yad Vashem seemed to me to be more problematic than they were.
Potential donors tend to respond more favorably to our appeals when they can see real action on site and when the actual structure starts rising on the site. Thus. enabling him to cope better with the many unique challenges posed by execution of the design. and other systems in the building had not been completed. the gap in needed resources and the splitting process unexpectedly turned out to be a huge help for Shimon. However. generally chooses its contractors via the traditional process. Shimon responded favorably to Ishai’s request. Yad Vashem finances all its projects from donations. That . Shimon felt that creating a fait accompli would put a quicker end to the bitter conflict between the curators and the architect.” Surprisingly. mechanical. like most public organizations. Even with the difficulties of starting construction on the building before design of all the systems was complete. Shimon explained that decoupling the building of the museum from the rest of the project would allow him and his team to focus all their attention on execution of the most difficult component of the entire project. Middle Stages: Making Progress by Uniting Shimon surprised Ishai again when he insisted on an unconventional process for selecting the contractor who would build the new museum. and the one with the least expensive proposal is the one selected for the job. and accelerating the beginning of construction was crucial for obtaining financing for the project. Moreover. Yad Vashem. in which any and all contractors are invited to submit their proposals.55 construction of the museum building from the rest of the project and issue the tender for it as early as possible: “I was aware that the design of the electrical. the one with the radical design and stringent requirements.
I was sure that only a few contractors could meet these extremely radical demands. Moreover. various criteria for prequalifying the bidders would have to be met. and shared his successful past experience with unconventional approaches to selecting a contractor. Shimon was fully aware that this . Yet. He was worried that for such an extremely complicated project. As a matter of fact.56 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent was exactly what bothered Shimon. primarily to avoid taking any risks. but would lead to disastrous financial results: “It was very clear to me that not every contractor would be able to cope with the ambitious and intricate design of the building and its stringent and ‘quality-based’ requirements. Also. and the architect refused to change them and changes because the design of the building systems was far from ready and would inevitably call for changes in the current design of the building. the curators were still debating fundamental conceptual ideas regarding the design of the exhibitions. He presented his ideas to the client. not only the total cost of construction. explained his rationale. I envisioned that the contractor would have to cope with endless changes during construction—changes because more than a few components in the architectural design were simply not feasible. and the winning contractor would be selected on the basis of multiple factors. and it was clear that the late submission of their detail requirements would lead to additional changes in the design of the building. According to this approach. selecting the least expensive contractor rather than the most suitable one would not only severely compromise the quality of the product. the client preferred to stick to the traditional approach.” Shimon recommended that the client embrace an unconventional approach for selecting the contractor. The chances that a contractor selected on the basis of cost alone would be able and willing to stay responsive to such a stream of changes and still maintain high-quality requirements would certainly be extremely low.
I realized that more arguments would probably not help me change their minds. Nevertheless. seeing is believing. the Ben-Gurion International Airport. he was determined to reverse the decision: “After several fruitless meetings. which enabled many unqualified contractors to join the project.” The first tender to get underway was also the largest and most important one in the entire project—the tender for execution of the skeleton and structure envelope.57 unconventional approach was not free of risk and that he would be blamed in the case of failure. who were convinced of its virtues after observing firsthand the poor results of a project that had considered cost alone in selecting a contractor: “Where endless solid arguments in the office failed. . I decided to try a new approach by providing them with concrete evidence through observation. Apparently. and other specialty contractors. who would be appointed later to work in parallel with the general contractor. They met with site management and learned that all the contractors had been selected strictly on the basis of cost. Many contractors had declared bankruptcy. with extremely negative outcomes for both project quality and schedule. and invited the client to join him. Shimon understood the pivotal role of selecting the general contractor: “I was of the opinion that selecting the right general contractor was by far the most important factor for the success of the project. This required my finding a site where selecting the contractor based on cost alone was clearly detrimental. Shimon had the satisfaction of getting approval for his unconventional approach from Yad Vashem’s management. The selected contractor was supposed to function as the “general contractor” for the project and coordinate the activities of the various electrical.” Shimon organized a visit to a nearby large construction site. The search turned out to be very quick. mechanical. one brief site visit did the trick.
commitment. • Implementation test: The bidders were required to present their proposed methodology for construction and to execute a sample mockup of the special concrete elements of the structure (a small model that included an exposed concrete wall. and I was prepared to invest every effort necessary to make it work. which is exactly why Shimon included it: “It was important to me to see whether the contractor was treating the project and the mockup as an important engineering challenge or just as a folly of the client’s which could be changed later on. and a presentation by their proposed management team. door.” Thus. experience with similar projects. recommendations from former clients. Shimon carefully designated a three-stage selection process: • Preliminary screening: Criteria included the bidders’ financial robustness. Shimon selected the company most likely to be awarded the job as contractor. and flexibility. However. beyond the selection of the contractor. • Monetary bid: Only those contractors who successfully passed the first two stages were granted the right to continue to the final stage and to submit their monetary bids. the contractor would have to demonstrate an extremely high degree of competence.58 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent I was therefore determined not to err in this selection process. and window details).” Based on these criteria and after reviewing all of the proposals received. I also knew that the best way to learn about these attitudes and capabilities would be by observing the contractor in action. Both the client and many of the competing contractors did not fully understand the purpose of the second stage. Only those bidders who met the criteria continued on to the next stage. it . I knew that for this challenging project to be successful.
he gave us feedback on the design as well as ideas for changes in the design to render it more implementable. he was willing to agree to any request of ours as long as he was awarded the project.’ I fully trusted Shimon. I felt that I could rely on his professionalism. Based on my early and current impressions of Israel. Apparently. the Director General. At the same time. and I gave him a free hand in his efforts to shape the staffing of the contractor’s management team.” Ishai. At this early stage. I indicated to him that he should try to join the company that seemed to be the winner. I applied pressure on the director of the company and informed him that his chances would increase if Israel were to be included in their team as project manager. at this stage. He selected Israel Chaskelevitch.59 was important to him to participate in the determination of the contractor’s management team as well. The project manager on behalf of the contractor must be a person with a ‘head that doesn’t stop working. To my delight. was also concerned about the issue of staffing the contractor’s management team and supported Shimon’s intervention: “I had already failed in the past with large and promising contracting companies that chose to assign unsuitable project managers at the head of the pyramid. and integrity. I did not rush him. I got a positive response from the company. I recalled that I was very impressed with his competency as well as with his creativity.” The contractor’s on-site preparations for the onset of the work brought into sharp focus another key problem: how to enable visitors . resourcefulness. the project manager proposed by one of the earlier bidders (whose offer had been rejected for financial reasons) as the person most suited to be project manager: “Israel was the same concrete specialist who we had approached in the initial stages of the project for a professional opinion as to the feasibility of the architectural design.
Shimon’s headaches were only just beginning: “Now that I was able to select a contractor and a project manager that fit the unique challenges of the project. with relocation of the visitor access roads accordingly. many building details remained unclear or were especially expensive to execute. but did not succeed. I was supposed to be relaxed.” Yet. Israel observed: “Shimon was in great distress due to the extensive design changes that the architects could not seem to stop introducing. But I was counting on Israel to refrain from abusing the situation. Yet I decided not to do it. at least not for the moment. and some were even impossible to execute. to ‘pull’ the project in directions that were undesirable for the client and refused . from the very beginning.’ Ishai explained that “this solution not only prevented safety hazards. I realized that we would be unable to provide the contractor with execution drawings for all the project areas. However. and I knew that entering into the execution stage in such a state would open the door to monetary claims by the contractor.” For his part.60 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent to continue touring the Yad VaShem site without affecting or being affected during the intensive construction activity. Yet. it eventually saved the project a great deal of money and endless headaches. With the ambitious architectural design. a second solution was adopted. The architect suspected that I was trying. enabling visitors to come in ‘above the construction. I knew that I could easily confront Shimon and demand supplements to the contract for all those changes. I was not. I tried to persuade the architect to change some especially complex and problematic execution details. I did not have any doubt that we would have to cope with a stream of design changes during construction. realizing how taxing this solution would be on site management time and focus. Two temporary overhead pedestrian entrance bridges were built. The original solution called for a step-wise execution of the museum complex.
the prism design for the museum’s central hall.61 to cooperate.” Two camps were actually forming. did not in fact understand what he was signing. with the designer on one side demanding absolute adherence to the original design regardless of whether it was at all feasible. and this time I was . while the contractor on the other side was adamant about his inability to execute many of the design details. I was constantly seeking creative ideas for alternative solutions that would protect the interests of all those involved—solutions that would not be inferior to the original design. it was important for me to check the architect’s willingness to compromise.’ I had to make a move as soon as possible to gain the trust of both the architect and the client. even the most expensive forms did not yield a final product of the quality anticipated by the architect: “All of my attempts and efforts to find an applicable and economic solution for the prism’s concrete elements were in vain. who was trying to reconcile both sides without compromising the project. At that critical point in time. at the same time. I understood that in order to ‘remain viable. the project manager. as Israel explains. In between the two was Shimon. Israel himself was also looking for a creative way to put an end to the conflict: “I was debating as to how to help the architect off his high horse without offending him or damaging the project.” Thus. allow us to shorten the execution time and reduce the financial cost. I estimated that the client. But. but that would. the contractor needed a very large number of special and expensive forms in order to execute the castings within the set time schedule. I chose to first tackle the issue of the architectural concrete elements in the prism structure. although he approved the drawings. which was to be cast entirely of special architectural concrete. Due to the massive quantity of concrete required. was the first problem to put the architect’s versatility to the test.
the client. Israel took this success and ran with it: “The successful solution for the execution of the prism’s architectural concrete elements made me try and dare again. the bolts started to grow on him and he even became ‘enamored’ with the solution.62 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent ready to fight if my demands were rejected. he presented this solution at an international architecture conference). I proposed that the pre-cast elements be made separately at a makeshift factory and be assembled using joining bolts. The client benefited from a shorter execution time. my proposed solution was unanimously approved by the architect. The circumferential concrete wall of the main prayer hall was originally designed to be executed in a unique conic manner. the architect benefited professionally from adopting the solution (several months later. the architect. “We all benefited from the change. I built a mockup of the proposed pre-cast solution. at this early stage of the project. Finally. to agree to such a fundamental change in the execution details of the prism walls was a kind of “decisive event” in the project in terms of developing a trust-based relationship between the contractor. and we all benefited from saving a great deal on expenses. however. and the project manager. “In order to enable the architect to experience the proposed solution. After much exploration. and the client.” The contractor’s success in persuading the architect. this time with respect to the synagogue building. the project manager benefited from easier on-site supervision made possible by the simple pre-cast execution. I decided to request that the architect move from a conventional execution of the prism walls by on-site casting to a pre-cast execution. The joining bolts that protruded from the pre-cast panels initially bothered the architect. Despite our . After a week of deliberation.
situated at the heart of the museum. and the complex itself was designed as an architectural focal point of extreme importance. all of the parties benefited from my proposed solution. the architect again agreed to my proposal after being convinced that his original design simply could not be executed. we could not succeed in casting this concrete element at the required level of quality.” The concrete work took about a year and involved 240 different castings. the names of all the communities annihilated in the Holocaust are commemorated on the peripheral walls. The architect treated this room with the appropriate reverence. In the middle of the floor. The well walls were to be illuminated with special lighting.63 many efforts. some full-scale. In this hallowed hall. there would be a deep conic well whose walls were to be made of special architectural concrete castings. the final result of which would be identical in shape to the original concrete wall design. We had to work above the Jerusalem forest without damaging it. several mockups. Throughout construction. were tested to make sure that the casting process and concrete quality met specifications. . and we were allowed to cut down only three trees.” Another example of the contractor’s creative thinking that eventually led to a brilliant solution was seen in the Hall of Names. Israel recalls the difficult environmental constraints of the work: “We had to embrace a mindset of ‘versatile’ formwork. we had to build a scaffold system up to 80 feet high to support the cantilever over the forest and access road during construction. I proposed to the client to change the design and substitute the concrete wall with a drywall-clad steel structure. Again. To my delight. For example. and so the execution had to be meticulous and the joints between casting interruptions had to be highly accurate. since I agreed to significantly decrease the unit price on this item following the change in execution method.
Shimon was thrilled with Israel’s contribution to the project: “Early on. Even had we gone to extreme lengths. He invested time and money in finding practical solutions. after the peripheral lighting was completed. We were very lucky and got them all. it was impossible to execute the concrete walls at the depth of the conic well according to the architect’s design. I worked tirelessly to ensure that the prequalification process would help us to select a contractor high in competence. in parallel. The proposed solution initially led to serious arguments with the architect. commitment. we would not have achieved the required accuracy. the architect and client had been reserved and suspected that the contractor’s primary purpose was to find shortcuts and cut costs. Israel again anticipated problems with executing the design: “In my opinion.” If at the beginning of the journey. I proposed an original solution: to carefully excavate the conic well in the rock and leave it in its natural form. Cooperation and mutual trust continued to increase as work on the project progressed. was so impressive that the client and architect not only approved the solution. but the final result. which were often crucial for transforming challenging design concepts into reality. I felt that the brilliant solutions Israel proposed were considerate of the architect’s extreme sensitivity about the unique design and at the same time met the client’s expectations regarding the quality of the final product. but also thanked us for our initiative.” . and flexibility. without the concrete cladding. Israel excelled in that he managed to identify the architectural design problems and. present us with proposals for their solution.64 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent However. Israel managed to win their favor after proving himself to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.
65 Safdie himself praised the contractor’s commitment and creativity: “It would take many experiments. In order to prevent this drift and enable future generations to connect to a memory with inherent significance for their identity and values. a memory with the capacity to shape the future.” The group of curators embraced this vision and developed a very ambitious and innovative objective: educating the young generation by personalizing the abstract concept of the Holocaust. novel engineering techniques. each devoted to a different chapter in the history of the Holocaust. the feeling of severed limbs would become dulled. the new exhibition would be composed of a multimedia presentation incorporating personal artifacts. It was designed to span 10 exhibition halls. unlike the exhibition in the old museum at Yad Vashem. and the memory of the Holocaust would become like that of any other historical event. the chief curator of the Holocaust History Museum. mockups. which was primarily composed of photographs. the museum would present . Thus.” Final Stages: Making Progress Through Versatility Avner Shalev. The stainless-steel buttons that conceal the post-tensioning anchors at both ends of the prism are visual testimony of the ingenuity involved. describes the underlying concept for the design of the exhibition: “My starting point and basic assumption was that as the years advanced. and a dedicated contractor to realize the building. All together. individual mourning would dissipate. with the testimonies and artifacts accentuating the individual stories. I realized that we would have to place educational work at the center of our endeavors. The exhibits would be set up chronologically.
the flexibility and degree of freedom remaining for the curators gradually declined.) had to be passed through the structure’s floors and walls. as the project advanced. It did not take Shimon long to realize that the curators did not care much about the project schedule. As a result. the struggle between the curators and the project manager flared up anew. they treated the exhibitions as a ‘once in a lifetime project’ without any regard for time constraints in their decision-making process. Before each of the critical stages (casting of walls and floor. even though he needed their timely input in order to maintain construction progress: “Infrastructure preparations for the exhibitions and displays required joint teamwork between the exhibition curators and the construction designers. etc.66 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent the personal stories of 90 Holocaust victims and survivors and would include approximately 2. excavation or sawing of the concrete would be required. computers. the contractor. security. lighting. But the curators wished to maintain as much flexibility as possible in light of the fact that the exhibition program was still being worked on. otherwise.” However. communications. such as artwork and letters. tiling of floor. since various kinds of piping (electricity. however. As Shimon recalls: “I tried to leave the curators enough time to make decisions right up until close to casting time of the various concrete elements. The curators focused on preparations of the various exhibits. when I had to get the data and force a decision. and only on them. he took the .” Just leaving the curators enough time. realized that some of the curators had difficulty in reading architectural drawings. and so on). The piping had to be positioned in its final locations in the forms before the walls and floors were cast.500 personal items. They behaved as if there were two different and quite independent projects: the building and the exhibitions. was not always enough. closing of roof openings. When Israel.
the hanging alternatives of the lighting fixtures.” Israel’s commitment to the success of the entire project. proposed to bring the original train car and tracks and display them so that their true dimensions could be experienced. the hanging of the pictures. and it seemed to me that it was not clear enough to them either. Israel prepared computerized simulations as well as 1:1 mockups made of wooden boards and geotechnical fabric. penetrates into the structure throughout the entire day. with all of its variability. were interested in installing large skylights in order to get as close as possible to the natural state in which light. highlights another example in which Israel went out of his way to help the curators: “One of the spaces in the exhibition area was designated for a re-creation of the death train that transported victims to the gas chambers.” Ishai. was again demonstrated in the conflict between the curators and the architect over lighting. These models clarified. the director general. The architect. striving toward controlled and constant lighting. The contractor decided to take the initiative and. in a tangible manner. and it enabled the curators to reach timely decisions regarding the design of this sensitive space. and so on. had designed the structure’s envelope so as to allow only a minimal amount of natural light to penetrate into the interior spaces. I was not really clear on what the curators wanted to create in this space. the joining of the portable partitions. In order to help the curators familiarize themselves with the relevant spaces. The effect of the physical model was especially great. early on. Shimon describes how Israel’s versatility contributed to expediting their decision making: “Some of the curators did not understand the complicated design of the spaces designated for the exhibitions.67 initiative to assist them. . The curators. of serving the needs of the client. on the other hand.
Ishai could not overcome the curators. This time. and other special infrastructure elements). I had in my possession supposedly approved execution plans.” . I was witness to the vigorous and incessant confrontations between the architect and the curators regarding the desired amount of light. Israel decided that the best way to expedite progress would be to wait: “The issue of the skylights troubled me greatly. and eventually for the success of the entire project.” However. I might ‘trip up’ the client. and it was clear to me that if I progressed with my approved plans. due to the unique stage of the project. releasing the project manager from any involvement. and I could have gone ahead and ordered all of the special glass components. and this ended up saving the client a lot of money since the design of the skylights changed drastically later on. Thus. he was not in a position to impose his own participation on them: “It was clear that at this stage. The utmost commitment and intensive involvement of the curators was required for the finishing work. and Shimon felt that without the client’s support. the client informed Shimon that he would be taking this issue upon himself and did not require Shimon’s services. Shimon did not put up any resistance and respected the client’s decision. this time. acoustic ceilings. Israel. and me for overcoming or eliminating problems.” Ishai noted that: “One can’t overemphasize the extreme importance of the teamwork between Shimon.68 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent However. the curators persuaded Ishai to entrust this activity to their exclusive care. Under pressure from the curators. construction of displays. I preferred to wait with the execution. I did not object to Ishai’s suggestion to leave the responsibility for the finishing work in the exhibition areas in their hands. when it was time to begin the finishing work in the exhibition areas (including multimedia.
Shimon warned Ishai that the execution of the elements was moving slowly and in an uncontrolled manner.” Shimon reflects on the long process to completion: “The visitor sees the end result. the client finally decided to entrust Shimon with the responsibility for managing the unique elements and the area of multimedia. unaware that it all started with an extremely noisy and squeaky music of endless shouting and conflict. 2005. It appears that the two designers. On March 15. opened up the bottleneck that had formed. The outstanding versatility and commitment to the success of the project on the part of the execution team paid off.” Another remarked on the fact that “the collaboration and counterpoint between curatorship and architectural design remain admirably balanced and harmonious. The issue of the construction of displays had become critical and was starting to delay the envelope contractor of the building: “Only after I explained the grave situation into which we had got ourselves to Ishai.69 After about two months of status quo in this matter. Glowing reviews applauded “the supportive and complementary relationship between the architectural dimension and the exhibition design. after much effort. Ishai continued to manage the other components of finishing work. When another four months had passed and the work was still not progressing according to schedule. the harmony. to persuade the curators to transfer this area of responsibility over to Israel and so. the music that Safdie was talking about in his book.” After the problem of the construction of displays in the exhibition areas was solved. the architect and the curators. In the end. must have worked together in great harmony all . did he manage. Israel took place. Shimon realized that the client was having difficulties making decisions. the dedication of the new Yad Vashem Holocaust History Museum in Jerusalem. in fact. with leaders from 40 countries attending the inauguration.
It was the ingenuity. of the implementers. who enabled each creative entity to flourish and nurtured the fusion of the two separate disciplines into a united and eternal cradle of memory.70 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent along. and indeed the creativity. when in fact this transformation was accomplished only through the constant dance between ideas and action.” .
plastics. and foam. Edward Hoffman.” Pathfinder was AeroVironment’s solar-powered airplane and one of four aircrafts that were part of NASA’s Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology (ERAST) program launched at the end of 1994. NASA’s Center for aeronautical research located in California.” says Jenny Baer-Riedhart. It was constructed of state-of-the-art composites. ‘Will it fly?’ It was an odd-looking bird. program manager at the Dryden Flight Research Center. which. when we kicked off the ERAST 71 . This was particularly true in 1994. powered six small motors with propellers. and Don Cohen I Was the Enemy “‘Where’s the rest of the plane?’ That was my reaction when I saw the Pathfinder. Jenny explains: “Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology is inherently risky and not considered an especially sound investment. in turn.3 Flying Solar-Powered Airplanes: Soaring High on Spirit and Systems by Alexander Laufer. I had to ask. The upper surface of the aircraft’s 100-foot wing was covered almost completely by thin solar-cell arrays that collected the sun’s energy and converted it into electricity. “I had just been named program manager and was seeing the plane up close for the first time. Reflecting on the risky nature of the program.
NASA would provide some funding to the companies. but the companies would also have to pony up their own resources. and the companies would be able to apply their work toward commercialization. The knowledge was there to build UAVs. I believed . I had just finished up another program to develop a next-generation UAV. and flexibility. securing funding for this project would prove to be no easy task and would require a lot of persistence. Now all we needed was approval for the budget from NASA’s headquarters in Washington. I wasn’t as attuned to the personalities in the room as I should have been. it was the cost and operational factors that made them unpopular. but I naively thought that all I had to do was explain how successful the program was and. I didn’t know what their requirements were or what their problems might be with what I was selling. I learned a key lesson in working with multiple customers: Always know the folks you’re meeting with.72 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent program. then NASA would be able to demonstrate the viability of UAVs for atmospheric science. I would win them over. “ERAST represented a whole new way of doing business for NASA. This would be the first industry-led alliance of its type. “At my first ERAST meetings. I had anticipated some resistance. Even though the plane had crashed. and always tailor what you’re going to say based on who you know will be there. The idea behind ERAST was to minimize the risks as much as possible by joining forces with the best companies in the industry. The agency had been involved in similar partnerships before. but they were all university-led. If the alliance was successful. “But as it turned out. Early on in this endeavor. “I made several appearances at NASA Headquarters to brief higher-ups about the status of the ERAST program. voilá. nobody was ready to give up on this technology. commitment.
’ I briefed them with the charts that I was going to take. and that it didn’t come with a big price tag. “Instead. What would I want to hear if I was in that position? I would want to make sure that the program was viable. and that I was looking at having to cut programs. The seller needs to understand what the buyer wants from a product. . From their standpoint. even unique. You might even say that I went to boot camp. I realized that the only way I was going to cultivate supporters was by putting myself in other people’s shoes and learning what they wanted to get out of the program. 73 in my heart of hearts that ERAST was important for NASA and that I could convince them of that. with a tight budget. And that was how I packaged it. I met with people from Dryden who frequently gave presentations at Headquarters about their programs. successful. I represented someone who would suck up the resources that they needed in other areas. that I could get recognition and congressional backing for it. and I used them as a sounding board. I was perceived as a threat. They weren’t interested in hearing anything about a program aimed at developing UAVs. “I imagined that I was on the other side of the table. or what we endearingly referred to as ‘murder boards. I found people from my Center and the ERAST alliance with areas of expertise similar to those I would address at Headquarters and set up role-playing sessions. “What I failed to recognize was that people are not convinced just because the seller believes in the product. even as the enemy. “But before I went anywhere near NASA Headquarters again to make my pitch. I got in shape. I did some serious training. I changed what I had to in order to stay alive. and when they told me what I’d be killed on.
” Bob Whitehead. Those people knew our strategy. Aeronautics made up about 10 percent of the total NASA budget in 1995 when I was associate administrator . It is. Honeywell. tells the same story from his perspective: “In Aeronautics. Then I said to them. and do. “There are times when the role of the project leader is simply to sell the project. the associate administrator for Aeronautics at NASA Headquarters. The most compelling sales pitch you can make is not that you have something wonderful to sell. But ‘politics’ doesn’t have to be a dirty word if it means working closely and openly with your customers and stakeholders. I wasn’t the person telling Jenny Baer-Riedhart to take her solar-powered airplane and go back home to Dryden. succeed or fail because of politics. The audience was blown away. our focus was on potential economic impact. ‘This is how I can deliver what you’re looking for. ‘Whitehead doesn’t want this.’ “Everyone tries to get a piece of the agency’s budget. but it’s not a fair fight. other things can be viewed as distractions.74 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent “I gathered information from NASA’s own reports and figured out what mattered most to them. She came in at the level of people who work for me.’ I brought charts that were worth more to them than an original Picasso. McDonald Douglas.’ So projects can. and it was easy for them to say. ‘I understand what you need. When you’re trying to sell programs in this kind of political pressure cooker. and the other 800-pound gorillas. Talk about visual aids—I had one with forty pictures showing all the things that we were doing and how they related to existing programs. and that was to be found in subsonic transports and technologies that supported Boeing.
if we fit this ERAST thing into the budget. why don’t we look at that? Can we broaden the appeal? It wasn’t that I was some genius sitting at Headquarters who suddenly looked out. this fits the recipe. you are always looking to spice things up. then you’d better take it and run with it. ‘Hey. But then there was Aeronautics—and it was all about the economy.’ Well. but wouldn’t go away—and they deserve a tremendous amount of credit for that—until finally we said. and understood what the ERAST folks were doing. 60 percent of the budget went to the Human Space Flight division. “So when someone suggested that the projects we were proposing weren’t anything to get excited about. 75 at Headquarters. which wasn’t doing anything about the economy once you got beyond Teflon and Tang. “When you live in the world that I lived in at NASA Headquarters. selling programs to the Administrator.’” . It was more like. I had to ask.000-foot airplanes and solar power. saw the light. they were behaving like entrepreneurs ready to do whatever it took for the success of their project! They got turned away the first time. Then the wind shifts and they want to know what cool. got pushed aside again. They were clearly willing to take risks and challenge the status quo—in short. exciting things you’re doing. ‘These whackos at Dryden came here talking about 100. Turbine engines are no longer the answer. Congress.’ And that’s exactly what they did. ‘Is there any more spice out there? What about some innovation?’ Then one of my guys said. “Jenny and her colleagues at Dryden showed up at NASA Headquarters and stuck their noses in. ‘Okay. To put that in perspective. pushing what they had to offer. came back with a new message. and the White House. One day the right answer is to sell them on economic impact.
The Pathfinder was by no means AeroVironment’s first foray into solar-powered aircraft. Compared to the other three companies. “Although most of us knew the others from prior experience. the other companies considered Pathfinder to be too impractical. As Ray explains: “What persuaded them to let us stay was our experience. We had been developing UAVs for over 13 years and had seen all the ways to crash them.” But AeroVironment had an advantage over the other companies in terms of technical know-how. vice president of AeroVironment Design Development Center. We at AeroVironment believed that our solar plane was uniquely suited to the extreme duration and altitude goals of the ERAST program. we were old timers in the UAV industry. some of the other companies involved were not quite as enthusiastic as Bob Whitehead. Ray Morgan. the industry as a whole was plagued by the duplication of stupid mistakes and problems that had been encountered and solved many years earlier. and they almost voted us out of the alliance. The other alliance members had less experience than we did in developing UAVs. For . which simply meant that they attacked each task as if they were the first ones who had tried to solve a particular problem. recalls the reservations of the companies in the alliance: “Initially. “One problem that many small UAV companies shared at that time was the ‘silo’ syndrome. working together in a collaborative way would be an entirely new way of thinking about our relationship to one another. the other companies recognized that learning from others was perhaps the only way to avoid repeating their mistakes. As a consequence. and they probably didn’t have as much appreciation for learning from the past.76 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent Systems Are Our Best Friends Even after NASA approved the budget. In the end.
NASA’s input was critical as AeroVironment began focusing on system optimization. Assigning a quantitative measure to a subjective judgment of risk is a difficult concept. It used to be joked that UAV manufacturers put ‘more holes in the desert than Arnold Palmer. expensive. but it was that kind of industry. but it is critical in conducting flight tests safely. This meant that there was only one of any given component. for the good of all. built in the early 1980s. crashing could not be taken lightly. oneof-a-kind UAVs with NASA logos and public scrutiny.’ “NASA provided AeroVironment with valuable advice about how best to implement redundant systems in its critical components. more or less.’ as we came to think of ourselves. . ‘If I have a dollar and you have a dollar. then we both have two ideas. but it was old hat to the folks at NASA Dryden who were on the review team. The ‘big four. This was something AeroVironment had never formally approached. But if I have an idea and you have an idea. I tended to see us as four hungry dogs looking at the same piece of meat. before it settled into an ongoing relationship that worked. and I give you mine and you give me yours. then the whole UAV would likely fail. we each still have a dollar. the alliance went through an initial courtship phase. for these large. In the first prototype of Pathfinder. “Like most new relationships. we were all rivals in a fairly ruthless and highly competitive industry. I think it was best said (I’ve forgotten by whom). followed by a few spats. had lost out to each other on prior programs. “NASA also brought to the table its vast experience in risk management.’ However. we had relied on single thread systems across every major component of the UAV. and if that one component failed. 77 one thing. particularly when the system had to automatically determine which sensors were working properly and which were not. and I give you mine and you give me yours. That may sound a bit harsh.
The point was that NASA had within its ranks a wealth of experience and judgment in developing and testing unique air vehicles. particularly at high altitudes. despite their superior IQs. or see reviews as something that they might learn from. every one of them was a genius in his own right. . Jenny Baer-Riedhart illustrates the consequences: “The companies who were not as open about accepting NASA’s advice faired worse in this alliance. their crashes might well have been avoided. ‘We’re good to go.’ while NASA nods its head and says okay—but that’s what we did. their attitude towards NASA was negative.78 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent “Because ERAST was a different way of doing business. Despite not being familiar with these particular types of light wing structures. “For the ERAST reviews. they crashed their UAV—twice. Many times they provided the most value by simply asking questions. On paper X was a superb company. not all of the companies in the alliance were willing to accept NASA’s advice. actually. “Generally. One of these companies we will call X. share information. They chose not to discuss their problems. Still. The companies could take NASA’s advice or they could ignore it altogether. NASA would bring in people with experience in a particular area of aircraft development and testing. Man for man.” However. employee for employee. The unfortunate thing is that had X listened to what NASA’s experts pointed out during the reviews. you wouldn’t rely on the contractor saying. and the atmosphere we were operating in was the same. we had to tailor almost everything about the program. and that included how we did reviews. even though they often had no prior background with UAVs specifically. In a typical NASA contract. they were still experts in physics and engineering.
X ignored the advice. “Another company in the alliance. When a critical component failed during one test flight. illustrates how using a simulator for training can even contribute to the risk of crashing when discrepancies in the system are not resolved: . But by the time the pilot finally realized that the lost data was not merely the result of the switch between the regular data link and the backup. it was too late—the UAV was pointed straight down and could not be recovered. In this case. the UAV was doomed to crash. When the component failed during a flight test. rejected NASA’s advice about developing a redundant system for a critical component. But each time that the data were switched between the links. concluded that no data was coming down. “Here again. also crashed their UAV. NASA had pointed out that using a redundant system would safeguard against a catastrophic turn of events should the critical component in question fail. the precipitating cause was the failure of a single thread component. They. the data coming down disappeared for about six seconds. the UAV flew out of control. too. but by then the aircraft had rolled upside down. To conduct one particular operation during flight. call them Y. NASA had spotted this and warned them of the catastrophic consequences of not switching to a redundant system. After six seconds the data were still screwy. With no backup means of recovery short of an act of God. 79 “When X crashed its UAV. and so it did.” John Del Frate. they had to switch from the primary data link to the secondary data link. the pilot on the ground noticed that the sensor was not updating properly. the UAV had two data links. and switched from the regular link to the backup. deputy project manager at NASA Dryden Flight Research Center.
This flawed training cost the company nearly a year of repair work. told him how many feet per minute he was descending. that if you are going to use a simulator. and often he would leave out a lot because—after all— he’s just one guy. a pilot practiced on a simulator with an instrument gauging the behavior of his plane on descent. One guy at the top typically wrote our flight procedures. the rate meter didn’t measure descent greater than 2000 feet per minute. we realized a couple of common sense things to help refine our methods of writing flight procedures: First. “Hence. The instrument. The companies used simulators to practice their operations and procedures. When he finally realized this. We had a problem on a flight and had to shut off the engine and glide down into a dry lake bed. a person at the top may not understand things in the same way as someone looking at it from a different perspective. The pilot ended up coming down too fast. It should be self-evident.80 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent “Flying these airplanes was risky.” Ray Morgan explains the way in which procedures should be developed and refined: “For the longest time. but he wasn’t paying attention to them. a rate meter. one person is not as smart as a group. Second. we weren’t procedures-oriented at AeroVironment. “In one instance. There were other ways in which he could have known that the plane was exceeding safe speed and was in danger of crashing. It turned out that his ground control station. it was too late—he broke the landing gear. and there were things he didn’t think about. in essence the cockpit. it needs to mimic the actual flight hardware as accurately as possible. but remarkably often it is not. and the pilots needed ‘stick time. such as a technician who is . In the cockpit.’ as we called it. didn’t work the same way as the simulator.
whenever possible. Certainly. We also invite other people who were not directly involved to provide some objectivity. not to mention potential disaster. Our first rule was always to ‘put the person closest to the problem closest to the solution. We get a number of changes from that—and that’s generally where we catch inconsistencies in nomenclature. “The process for the refinement of procedures at AeroVironment starts with reading through the procedure with a group of people who were involved in writing it. you will develop better procedures by using each of their areas of expertise. If you bring together all the people who understand parts of the system. If the person writing a procedure had gotten used to calling something by a nickname. . they need to be sharpened and honed. All good craftsmen like to sharpen their own tools. making it a recipe for frustration.’ “Thus. the labeling is usually very close to being error-free. people feel less stress when they can control how they perform their tasks. we had people cross-checking their procedures with coworkers. the person(s) who actually performs the task creates the procedure for it. On the next iteration. Procedures are tools. Providing this type of ownership is invaluable and is also the most efficient way to create the procedure. But not everyone who had to use the procedure was familiar with that particular nickname. but even so we recognized that we had to provide a way to handle inevitable mistakes. 81 actually performing the task. that’s how he would identify it in the procedure. and like tools. “Another problem that stemmed from having one guy write the procedure was that different nomenclatures were being used. What’s more. “The most significant problem we found with autocratically handing down procedures was that people were far less likely to follow procedures that they neither created nor could change.
we get a group together to look at whether there were any abnormalities that could be attributed to a procedure. “This process of continuous improvement by the ‘owner’ of the procedure accelerates the rate of development of the procedure by allowing both the ‘owner’ and the users to rapidly refine a procedure and to respond quickly to changes in the system during the flight test program. and practicing them again and again until they run as predictably as clockwork. .” John Del Frate reiterates how crucial following a well-developed set of procedures can be to the outcome: “One cannot say enough about developing and documenting a good set of procedures and practicing them and analyzing them. and we discuss any ‘red-marked’ changes to a procedure made during the flight. where we do the last run-through of the whole process before the actual flight.82 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent “Next. correcting any discrepancies that we might catch is the responsibility of whoever ‘owns’ that procedure. and we practice just as we would if we were going through a flight—a prototype of sorts. and it requires an incredible amount of coordination with team members. we get everyone together for another read-through. using the latest rewrite. But you have to do it because this is the time when you discover discrepancies that can make the difference between saving a plane and crashing it. It is grueling work. The person who ‘owns’ the procedure makes note of any issues that come up and corrects the procedure before the next practice. At this stage. it takes lots of time. usually the pilot or a stability and control engineer. This time we have the actual hardware in front of us. “After the flight. then rewriting them if necessary. Our next meeting is with the same people at the ground control stations.
Here. I had a lot to keep track of—four flight projects and numerous technology development initiatives.they were religious about how they developed procedures. Ray Morgan also adopted the PERT chart for communication purposes in order to keep everyone . and sharing all the data that were used and developed by the team. not solar power. Not AeroVironment. 83 “I saw a lot of cases where maintaining the project schedule started to become a problem. My background was in flight research. first as chief engineer and later as deputy project manager. Everyone in the alliance had access to the database. and some of the companies started to basically skimp on the amount of time that they spent practicing their procedures. there was no format required. and certainly not with such a unique vehicle as the Pathfinder. What allowed me to stay abreast of their progress was AeroVironment’s system of using project data memos. and the idea was to make it easy for anyone to generate a data memo.. Aside from the title block. Even notes jotted on scraps of paper proved worthy of making it into the file. This is one of the most common tools employed by project managers and the planning and control staff. they were blown away by how precise the details were. When I showed their procedures to some of the guys at NASA Dryden who were in the flight-test business. Jeffrey Bauer. documenting. “When I joined the ERAST program in 1995..” AeroVironment also developed a unique system for collecting. describes this system and how he benefited from it: “Data memos were intended to communicate to everyone in the program what was going on with the Pathfinder project. chief engineer at NASA Dryden Flight Research Center.” Another tool used for communication in the Pathfinder project was the PERT (Program Evaluation and Review Technique) chart.
it becomes a valuable. our rivals. As Ray Morgan recalls: “When we were approached by NASA about becoming part of this alliance. they would share equally with us—whether it was shared data. It also allows the team to mark it up interactively. or you name it. milestones. and did not just become faded wallpaper.’ This became a critical tool for the team. it seemed difficult to believe that even if we shared with the other companies. and people on the critical path. interdependencies. the first . “The chart was much more than window dressing. We usually incorporated these changes into a computer model and reprinted it once or twice a week during flight tests. we felt that we were the only ones living up to the letter of the agreement. this kind of openness set an important precedent for what would become common practice among all the members of the alliance. Initially. money. but over time we started seeing others get into the spirit. adding tasks that come up when necessary and checking off tasks as they are completed.” thereby rendering it as a tool used by all the team members: “We put our chart on the side of a large container right in the hangar. next to the flight test crew and the airplane. Enthusiasm for accomplishing the next goal was reborn each time we looked at the graphics on our wall. hardware. “The importance of working together as an alliance to the success of the Pathfinder cannot be overstated. When posted. graphic depiction of the work plan. as well as which ones may need help. validated them to the team.84 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent focused on “the big picture. In 1995. The fact that these charts were actually updated. as we often referred back to it in team meetings to help redefine the importance of a current task and to see how it fit into ‘the big picture.” Overall.
we knew the risks involved and took every . “NASA. 85 full year of the program. specifically Jenny’s. understood the risks involved in developing and testing new technologies. Our goal was to fly into the stratosphere. we were able to borrow money from the other members of the alliance who hadn’t spent all of their funds.000 feet into the stratosphere during the first solar-powered high-altitude flight. and we had not yet flown above a thousand feet. We had on the order of $3 million. Pathfinder soared to 50. and one for all. I also view it in terms of the stratospheric leap we’d made as an alliance. it’s hard to predict what it will cost. which cannot be identified during a program and that a flexible budget is needed to compensate for them. This 12-hour flight not only broke a world record but was a triumph for everyone in the alliance because as a program we were able to point to our impressive performance as a reason to continue funding the program. Thanks to this. but we simply hadn’t gotten through the low-altitude tests before we had spent it all. When you’re doing things you haven’t done before.’ That’s why. “With NASA’s help.” That success in working as an alliance is what helped Ray and his team to overcome another unforeseen crisis in the month following their memorable flight: “When we set the world altitude record for solar aircraft in September 1995.000 feet we reached in September 1995. being a sophisticated customer. They understood the vagaries of it all and how hard it is up front to predict what’s going to happen. when I think about the 50. NASA also recognized that there are unknowns. In September 1995. we ran out of money. We billed it as an ERAST accomplishment instead of AeroVironment’s: ‘All for one. we were able to reach our performance goal for the year.
and much of the solar array on these panels was destroyed. and with the three doors open. our crew chief told the attendant in charge that our plane was much more fragile than the others and that the attendant needed to be particularly careful when moving it or moving the other planes around it. All went well until the show ended. we assumed that it was inherently safe and that we didn’t need to worry about procedures for its safety. “In October. The day that we brought the Pathfinder to the hanger. a windstorm blew through the base. it occurred to me that we might be finished. the hangar became a giant wind tunnel. But when the airplane was in a hangar on the ground. The guy we had talked to about our plane wasn’t on duty and hadn’t talked to the people who were moving the planes. When the report came in. We didn’t know whether NASA would give us the funding we needed to rebuild.86 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent precaution possible. The guys who left the hangar doors . “The next morning when I learned about the accident. The agency sent a management team to conduct an investigation into the incident. the spars of two mid-panels on the Pathfinder were broken.) The hangar attendant seemed responsible. They opened the hangar doors on three sides to give themselves more room to work. the B-2 and the F-117. exceeding 30 knots. (It had a 100-foot span but weighed less than 600 pounds. “During the night. As they were working. it was just as we had already determined. an Air Force crew moved the B-2 and the F-117 to a different hangar. In the collision. we were asked to display the Pathfinder at the Edwards air show. and we had no reason to doubt that he would do anything less than what we had asked. where it would be parked in a hangar near two classified aircraft. The Pathfinder was blown across the hangar and got wrapped around the F-117 next to it. He emphasized the Pathfinder’s susceptibility to wind because it was so large and light. We were shocked out of this assumption fairly dramatically.
we recognized that we needed improved procedures to protect the Pathfinder on the ground as much as in the air. We were able to do so because we had a team that refused to be broken by adversity and a knowledgeable and rational customer that understood the risks for flight-testing unique aircraft. an unexpected benefit of the accident was that we learned a tremendous amount about our plane. Pathfinder and the entire ERAST program were deployed to the U. But for us. Even more importantly. and no one but us could be blamed for the accident. By remaining focused on learning from our mistakes.S. While rebuilding. it laid the foundation for pushing even higher into the stratosphere. the process made us stronger because it proved that we could count on each other in the worst of times as well as the best. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. an accident like that could have been catastrophic. we got to experiment with an improved structural design and turned out a better plane that was stronger and more durable. Although the official explanation for doing so focused on the right weather conditions in conjunction with other operational requirements necessary for testing UAVs. we would not have recovered from the tremendous setback. 87 open didn’t know how fragile the Pathfinder was. there . “Above all. “Lucky for us. For many projects.” Change of Venue In early 1997. we were able to secure funding from NASA to rebuild the airplane because we had already proven ourselves on our test flights and had demonstrated our ability to learn from our mistakes. Had we not been as successful a team as we were at that point.
While it was just a matter of time before we left Dryden in any case. Jenny explains: “Ironically. Understandably. Dryden wouldn’t let us fly after 8. and it would never come back. We could fly later on weekends. we needed to schedule flights with the solar-powered Pathfinder at around 8 or 9 AM to take advantage of the sun and the wind conditions. providing the facilities and some limited oversight and guidance. and here we were bringing in unpiloted planes. the private companies handled most of the flight activities. if not open resentment. “Things never got openly hostile.” . there was some ambivalence. Because of the nature of the Joint Sponsored Research Alliance. We’d send a document for review. but we had to spend extra money to bring people in to support the activity. the harder it became to operate out of our home base at the Dryden Flight Research Center. Dryden ‘hosted’ the program. ‘Want to cut us out of the picture? Then do it all yourself. just as we were starting to demonstrate success with the Pathfinder project and gaining more support at NASA Headquarters and in Congress for ERAST. toward a UAV program competing for precious airtime and flight resources. The attitude around Dryden was. For example. Still. the problems there accelerated our departure. and we turned our attention to Hawaii. NASA engineers weren’t directly involved. while the companies did the primary work. traditionally.’ “Moreover. test pilots figured prominently in the programs. it was disappointing. but at the same time the message wasn’t subtle. “The situation was exacerbated in other petty ways. At Dryden. the culture at Dryden didn’t value UAVs in the same way as the other aircrafts there.88 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent were additional reasons related to the ‘organizational environment’ that alienated Jenny Baer-Riedhart and her team. I would schedule a meeting with Dryden personnel who needed to be there. and no one was available.
“The residents of Kauai share a natural apprehension about outsiders. we devoured all the tasty food that he and his friends Vince and Johnny cooked for us in their giant (and I mean giant) woks. Dave Nekomoto. “Dave was well connected and helped smooth the way for us by cutting through red tape in dealing with the local authorities. he made it clear that the real reason he did favors for us was because he liked us. Like many Kauaians we met. impression. that’s right—we sang. Although he considered the support he gave us to be part of his job(s). we had to overcome obstacles that were far more down to earth. That was a main ingredient we found in all the business dealings we did on Kauai. To take advantage of these conditions. “Dave had—how shall I say it?—a thing for karaoke. Dave had more than one job. Visitors need to be wary of making an inappropriate. With Dave. He was a former executive officer at the Navy base where we were conducting the flight tests. and he had quite an elaborate setup at his place for it. 89 Ray Morgan describes the cultural barriers that they encountered in the process of moving their operations: “We’d chosen the island of Kauai because of the favorable conditions there for high-altitude flight tests. Dave introduced us to the unique culture of Kauai and helped us ‘fit in’ and establish a good rapport with the local community. This was Dave’s way of relaxing at the end of the day. a fourth-generation Japanese-American born and raised in Hawaii. Among other things. Not only that. we sang with him. was our man in Kauai. speakers. and acoustics that any garage band would kill . Yes. we endeared ourselves to him right away. if unintended. including microphones. It helps to have someone willing to serve as your entrée into the community. It was a culture where your personality took you further than the size of your billfold.
All you had to do was punch a button on a computer and the music started up.’ “I traveled to Kauai for the first time to attend an alliance meeting and to scout out potential operating locations. I spent my first two days there locked away in all-day meetings. It was up to you to provide the vocals. it showed that we weren’t afraid to risk embarrassment and we all trusted each other with our most precious possession—our egos. and heaven help you if you were bashful. Call it an initiation. with the lyrics flashed across a television screen. and four inches of whipped cream. Everyone on the project who came to Kauai had to eat a piece of this pie. It consists of an Oreo cookie crust. it was the project’s way of letting you know when you got off the plane that you weren’t walking into this tropical paradise without paying an entry fee first. but we managed to get everyone to sing something. No one on the Pathfinder team had a Sinatra voice.’ It was all in good fun and. he must have owned the tracks for every song ever recorded. macadamia nut ice cream. ‘We have to go. “Anybody who was tight with Dave spent time with him at his house singing. ‘And we’re going to sing.” Jeffrey Bauer reiterates the importance of the karaoke ritual: “Hula Pie is a dessert at one of the restaurants near the hotel where we were all staying in Kauai.’ Jenny told me. a hazing of sorts. more importantly. Following the second day of meetings. Plus. . But singing? I don’t sing. he suggested that we go over to his house to sing karaoke. “Singing karaoke was another must. too. Even those who were painfully shy managed a few lines of ‘Happy Birthday. Dave Nekomoto was there.90 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent for. Jenny had made it clear to all of the team members that we needed to be sensitive to cultural differences when we were on the islands.
It brought the team together. People who absolutely refused to do a whole song were still expected to sing one verse. to stand up in front of his subordinates and look silly. and to show that kind of vulnerability. that was a great exercise in team building. but at least I don’t sing as bad as you. and we made friends with our Hawaiian and military hosts. 91 “Anybody who was nervous about singing picked a song that everyone else knew. we had a marketing strategy—we developed educational programs in the schools and put together displays at the local museum. we probably would have been accepted by the community eventually. Without Dave’s karaoke parties. but he could always turn to his colleague and say. children. and that was a nice break from dealing with the problem at hand. One guy from AeroVironment sang so badly that everyone was rolling on the floor laughing. and other friends that had come over for a visit. I cannot possibly overstate the importance of these karaoke nights at Dave’s place.” Jenny Baer-Riedhart describes more about the social environment on the island: “In planning our marketing strategy on the islands—yes. We helped to write the lesson plans. But he was one of the project leaders. “What I found also was that it gave the project a history that people could cite whenever things were getting tense and we needed to remind ourselves of something fun. The whole NASA and AeroVironment team was there.’ They’d get a good laugh about it. along with spouses. That way they could help you out. Dave invited folks from the base who we worked with each day and who we never would have gotten to know personally otherwise. “For many reasons. ‘I’m stuck. Someone might be stuck on a problem. but developing a social relationship certainly broke the ice quicker and formed a basis of trust. and the NASA public .
fell head over heels in love with us. “From Dave we learned invaluable things about the Kauaian culture—for instance.000-Kid March. “Dave was also quick to let Hawaii’s political machine know what was going on with our project at PMRF. and students and teachers from all across the state participated. This was done on Dave Nekomoto’s advice. We jokingly called this event the ‘1. It was tremendously successful. restaurants. money that hadn’t been available before suddenly appeared at our doorstep. ‘This Pathfinder is a good thing.’ and the name stuck. the NASA and AeroVironment team orchestrated an open house that brought in approximately 1. When we had to make travel arrangements that were . ‘These people are doing something special.92 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent affairs staff led training workshops for the teachers in order to show them what we were doing so that they could share this information with their students. and he put us in direct touch with the right people at the college—it helped that his brother-inlaw was the Dean of Instruction there. and key parts of the PMRF support equipment. “We involved the Kauai Community College by hiring students to work for us at the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) and introducing them to advanced solar technology.’ people were saying. Working with the base commander and the PMRF public affairs office.000 local schoolchildren to see the Pathfinder. its payloads. Not only that. “The community. People on the island who worked at the hotels. which resulted in Hawaii’s entire congressional delegation sending a letter to NASA commending us on the success of our program. to put it immodestly. the high regard that Kauaians have for those who educate their children. and airline and car rental agencies that we used all got to know many of the team members.’ That kind of talk has a way of making things happen.
“Many times in our projects. That’s why we set aside money in our budget specifically for those kinds of activities. where an outbreak . but you’ve got to understand the human side of things. scientists could check the health of the plant life below. That helps. we think that just being smarter than someone else or having the best idea is all we need. the purpose of our project was to look at broad swaths of vegetation on Kauai from our high altitude perch on Pathfinder. but whatever you call it. 93 subject to change with events in our flight schedules. By the brightness of the infrared bands in the images we captured. by the time we left Kauai.” Other activities of the project focused on testing microminiaturized sensors that can be carried out by the remotely operated aircrafts and that can serve the science community. and how it showed the stress of the plants. We learned where to go to get a shot of a broken irrigation line. new ways to use our information. My other objective was to look for new ideas. we had probably spent 20 percent of our project time on it. but we understood that however it worked itself out was going to be critical to our success. I went on marketing trips around the islands. For example. I met scientists who had no idea about aerial photography and what it could do for them. what the camera was capturing. I tried to explain to them how chlorophyll reflects infrared more than it reflects green. no doubt. Call it marketing or public relations. To help scientists understand the potential value of our data to them. We came to Kauai not knowing how the human dimension would figure into our activities. Dougal Maclise reflects on how connections were made with scientists on the island toward this end: “Ostensibly. this relationship proved invaluable. we planned to take pictures of the forests to collect data on agriculture.
I was hired to lead a project for AeroVironment. They stressed the strong trust and commitment that Ray was able to build within the entire team. Ray Morgan had to be in control of everything and everyone. and enable them to contribute and learn. “Building on earlier visits to sugarcane producers.” People Matter the Most In sharing their impressions of Ray with great affection and admiration.94 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent of something was occurring. treat them as equal. Within a day he was using the information we’d collected to fix broken irrigation lines. It led to some of the work that’s going on now. including AeroVironment. for example to the coffee growers. a small company run by a man named Paul McCready. and later on with the larger community on the island. NASA. Word of that got around to other parts of the community. prior to becoming the kind of leader who fosters individual and project growth. where there appeared to be an immature crop or anything else that someone asked to see. In fact. who was known as the ‘Father of Human-Powered Flight. It is only over time that his unique managerial style has evolved in response to his own experiences and self-development on the job: “In 1980.’ McCready . I went for a ride with one in his helicopter and took pictures of crops to demonstrate the value of the project and to whet his appetite for wider-scale images available from Pathfinder. when I showed him the pictures. But this knack for inspiring mutual support didn’t always come naturally for Ray. who began to see how useful aerial photography could be to them. Jeffrey Bauer and Dougal Maclise attributed his success in leading the team to his unique ability to focus on people. he pored over them. Later. He pointed out areas where he wanted me to take pictures as we were flying.
had lights installed. but if we could pull it off. and we all have ones that are important to us. but I took a leave of absence to join the project. Solar power was one of the last frontiers in aviation. To me it was the dream of a lifetime. but he was not a project manager. That was going to be my job. I had to demonstrate solar-powered flight on the Penguin by May. which had a solar panel placed above the wing and aimed at the horizon so that we could fly and test it in the early morning sun. By learning as much as we could from those tests. I told McCready when we were negotiating my terms of employment. California. The first was a test bed called the Gossamer Penguin. “McCready had gotten Du Pont interested enough in his activities to sponsor a solar airplane that would fly from Paris to London. and we had a lot of ground to cover. do this project. I was working at Lockheed in Burbank. In some ways it was a stunt. To be on schedule. we were going to design the airplane that we planned to call the Solar Challenger. It was pioneering in the truest sense of the word. it might be seen as a groundbreaking event in the development of solar aviation technology. There are hundreds of reasons why project managers accept an assignment. He wanted somebody to put together a team. a genius inventor. I would do this for free.’ “We would develop two planes. I tried to do what I thought a good manager would do to get a project started—I found a building. and shelves . and all of McCready’s projects with airplanes had been worked on outside the company. I didn’t have a building to work in—let alone people on the project. ‘If I had another way to support my family. and nothing like this had ever been tried. “AeroVironment was an environmental consulting company. something I never thought I’d get a chance to do. 95 was a visionary. and then disappear. Solar power was still in its infancy. “When I was hired by McCready in January.
No sooner had the plane begun to bank when it suddenly began spinning around the left tip. I relied on what McCready told me and what I learned from the few people left over from his earlier programs. With the crew following on bicycles.96 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent built. and then we wouldn’t be able to control the fragile airplane. The wing tip crumpled onto the ground with McCready’s son inside the cockpit. I set up the same procedures we had used at Lockheed. etc. “One April morning. Let’s get it in the air before the sun comes up too high.’ He was right to be concerned about timing because as the sun rose higher. his dismissal of even the most minimal safety procedures would prove to be more costly in the long run. However. listening to what they said and—often against my better judgment—going along with it. ‘Let’s get going. “The first time we went out to flight test the Penguin. “The most alarming aspect of putting the plane in the air without more rigorous reviews and precautions was that—by McCready’s edict—the test pilot was his 12-year-old son.’ he told me. Marshall. I was in the hangar at daybreak going through a checklist before we began the flight. McCready reasoned that because his son only weighed 80 pounds. Marshall took off and began to fly our standard racetrack pattern. often for the same reasons—broken parts not found and repaired. and get something in the air. we could get away with fewer solar cells on the airplane. McCready pulled the Penguin out of the building. We crashed the plane with varying severity over and over. But McCready wasn’t happy. telling me: ‘You can do that after the flight. cables not properly connected. As the wings folded up and collapsed. Without a great deal of introspection. the turbulence would make the plane less stable. I let them guide me. Marshall climbed to about 25 feet above the concrete runway and began a left turn. the boy fell out .
I thought I had to control everything. Nothing happened without my approval. “I stayed on at AeroVironment. never. I don’t think I could have been any more traumatized had it been my own child in that airplane. That was disaster number one. 10 years earlier. including props for the movie industry. ever again would that happen while I was managing a project. I was killing myself. I wouldn’t trust anybody to do anything. It could have killed him. McCready asked me to stay on and lead a new division of the company to develop solar applications.to 100-hour weeks. and that was fortunate—because a carbon fiber spar from the left wing pierced the cockpit where his head had been only seconds earlier. Never mind that his father wanted him to be the pilot—I should have known better. Some days I felt so much stress in the morning driving to work that I almost threw up. I was not only killing the morale of everyone I worked with. We flew the Solar Challenger from Paris to Kent. I worked weekends. and in two or three years they were . I couldn’t pull myself away. The kinds of projects I was working on were intoxicating. “From the outside. The tension was so palpable that I could feel it when I walked in. This was the sort of job that. 97 the side of the plane. it looked like the ultimate job. “Disaster number two was my reaction. But on the inside. And thus began an eight-year period for me where I became exactly the kind of boss that I said I would never be. I was a mess. I wouldn’t have believed I could ever have. I had people lined up outside my office waiting for decisions because I made them all. I never took vacations. I couldn’t believe what I had done. I was working 80. We did about 25 projects over the next several years—incredible stuff. and Du Pont loved it. I had almost killed a 12-year-old boy. I said never again. all types of flying things. “People came to work for me almost crying because they were so grateful to be there. England.
That better way was about to present itself when I heard about night school classes being offered at UCLA on W. one of the few that I could call a friend.98 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent burned out. ‘How can I go to night school? I don’t have time to go to night school. .” wrote Deming. whom I talked to about this. ‘to make it possible for people to work with joy. I continued for two more semesters. ‘You don’t have time not to go to night school. I had to start trusting and delegating and having confidence in their intelligence and integrity. and it was out of sheer desperation that I finally started to figure out that I needed to quit—or find a better way.’ “I had a longtime employee. At first. it dawned on me: This was how the instructor worked. Edwards Deming’s revolutionary 14-point management system.’ “I took one class at UCLA. I thought this was the biggest waste of money. But as time went on. I was probably as bad a manager as you could be. he just asked us questions. He was demonstrating the power of using the brains of the people around you through the way he was teaching. I asked myself. ‘Why can’t I get this out of my people?’ “Taking the first class at UCLA was just the beginning.’ And he said. Years of reflection followed. the course led to a radical change in my attitude toward people. The single biggest realization I had was that most people want to do good work. The essence of the philosophy was to learn from my people. and though I was not able to implement many principles of Deming’s philosophy. I said. The guy that taught the class never told us anything. Most of what I had done as a manager was to kill the intrinsic motivation that people already had to do good work. My job was to let them do it. ‘The 14 points all have one aim. I’m barely sleeping.
What’s more. I had finally begun to be a leader and was leading my division in a transformation that enabled me to draw full value from all the brains of my workforce. You simply cannot not follow Ray. I learned that finding the right balance between systems and people is critical to being a good project manager. but a better manager. “I learned to search for the right balance in everything.’” It would appear that Ray does indeed practice what he preaches. I would change about education. In fact. The hardest thing for people to learn in the real world is to work together. When I occasionally speak at schools. The key is collaboration through communication and trust. or the energetic cowboy. “Whether one meets the optimist developer. I might have reverted back to my old self if I hadn’t kept reminding myself of how miserable I had been. I had wrestled with my worst demons and felt like I was not only a different man. but it started me down the right road. teachers sometimes ask me what. the inquisitive engineer. The fear of lost control was almost unbearable. it was very tough at first and almost seemed like it was worse for a while.” . Dougal Maclise sums up his unique style by saying. if anything. “By the time we joined the ERAST program and started developing the Pathfinder. I realized that people matter the most since they make the systems work. but more importantly. I always stress that ‘I would encourage people to cooperate because that is the way the real world works. the experienced builder. His genuine spirit is contagious. one always immediately feels that each one of his personalities is an authentic and sincere person. 99 “This new approach didn’t immediately solve my problems.
.” Ray Morgan was looking to reward his team and his Hawaiian friends by throwing a big bash: “After a successful flight test. AeroVironment had t-shirts made that said ‘Thank You’ in Hawaiian. They never had a celebration like this before and were glad to help out with things like cooking. We have set a very high standard for others in our ERAST team to follow. I had NASA stickers and ERAST stickers to give to people. After Pathfinder set the world altitude record on July 7. As Jennifer Baer-Riedhart declared. even janitors. 1997. we decided to throw a different kind of party. The reigning Miss Hawaii even showed up and sang for us. Even teachers. “Pathfinder’s performance to date has exceeded our wildest expectations. Our team performed without flaw and way ahead of schedule. it’s a tradition to throw a party. The project manager buys the refreshments. telephone repairmen. and we had flyers printed up and sent out special invitations. usually a couple of kegs of beer. I am proud to be part of a world-class team led by AeroVironment and supported by our Hawaiian counterparts. We invited everyone we could. remotely piloted 14-hour flight to an altitude of 71. “People who worked with us from the Pacific Missile Range Facility were there. the team had cause to celebrate.100 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent Flight Party After the Pathfinder’s successful solar-powered. There was singing and hula dancing. and that is how you pay back your team. school kids. our community of friends and supporters. and it turned out to be one of the biggest bashes they’d ever seen on the island. Dave Nekomoto brought a karaoke machine. and they brought anyone from the base who wanted to come—electricians.530 feet above Kauai in July 1997. “We held the party in a park. and community college students came.
the support of the Kauaians who helped make it possible must never be forgotten. Bottom line. you can bet that they make little distinction between a friend and an asset. So we wanted everyone to feel like they were part of the team. One very important factor was that the people of Kauai felt invested in our success and wanted to do whatever they could to help us reach our goals. People are the most important part of any operation. they were behind us one hundred percent. every Kauaian knew about Pathfinder and what we were trying to accomplish— and. if they were assets. but it was also just to say thank you to the community for all the help they gave us. we had friends on the island. 101 “The party started at three o’clock in the afternoon and didn’t end until well past midnight. that’s beside the point. “None of us can do much alone. it was to celebrate the altitude record. And they did. We enjoyed sharing our accomplishments with everyone who wanted to be part of the team. “Cynics will look at our public relations activities on Kauai and say that all we did was woo the natives in order to get what we wanted from them. By the time we left. A lot of factors contributed to our success in the skies above Kauai. Ostensibly.” . Whatever advancements derive from our work on Pathfinder. too. and it is only with the help of others that we do great things. more importantly. The way I see it. For those inclined to see the world this way. the world record belonged to all of us. The most memorable thing about the party for me was how happy they were that we had done this for them.
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while taking into account the limitations of the existing roads and bridges along the way. and Jeffrey Russell The Entrepreneurial Phase In 1996. four large harbor cranes were designated for relocation: two cranes (weighing 400 tons each) from Haifa Port to Hakishon Port and two cranes (weighing 250 tons each) from Hakishon to Haifa. meticulous coordination was required between the contractor and the Israel National Roads Company (reinforcement of bridges and construction of bypasses). Zvi Ziklik. The first stage was to involve disassembling each crane into approximately 70 transportable parts that would be transported overland on giant trucks. The tender requirements were based on the vast knowledge accumulated by the Ports Authority and by local Israeli contractors as well as on their past experience in overland transfers. the Ports Authority.4 Transferring Harbor Cranes: Delivering a Bold Idea Through Meticulous Preparations and Quick Responsiveness by Alexander Laufer. The client. The relocation activity was described in detail in the tender. All of the cranes were about 40 meters high. Before beginning the land transportation project. the Police department (coordination of 103 . following a comprehensive program to streamline the Israeli ports. issued a public tender for the overland transfer of these giant cranes.
In addition. a private family-owned company. Six companies specializing in the execution of similar works acquired the tender documents. staging areas. The client estimated the time period for the relocation of each crane to be about three months. Since its establishment in 1962. manufacture. and so forth. other relevant authorities. including reconditioning/replacing all of the parts that could no longer be used after their disassembly. Only after these inspections were completed would the cranes receive licensing and authorization to operate again. The expectations of the client regarding price were based on the cost of past projects and were known to all of the leading and experienced crane relocation companies. as well as inspections by the safety and licensing agencies. Ofer Klein. A thorough inspection of the cranes and their components by the Belgian crane manufacturer. reserved a budget of approximately $16 million for the relocation of the four cranes. would be required for approval of the cranes’ return to service.104 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent traffic and parking). Based on data from previous projects. appointed a think tank to identify possible alternatives to the usual method of relocation. Mifram had an impressive track record of developing and producing new and innovative industrial products. the Ports Authority management (timing. the Electric Corporation (disconnection of power lines). and transportation of heavy equipment and the construction of unique structures and industrial plants. and so on). the firm had developed expertise ranging over a broad industrial spectrum. or about one year for the entire operation. After the arrival of the crane parts at their destination.5 and $4 million and. the client expected the relocation cost of each crane to range between $3. therefore. the reassembly of each crane was to begin. As he explains: . including the design. One of the six companies participating in the tender was Mifram. prevention of interference with ongoing activity. the CEO of Mifram.
so the differences in prices between the bids were expected to be small and the profitability minimal. to the best of my knowledge. the team reached the conclusion that the solution seemed feasible. Mifram’s management gave the ‘goahead’ to invest in further examination of this unique solution. To have an advantage in the competition. I proposed to the team that we try to adopt a similar method in our case as well. All of the other competitors were familiar with the overland method of transfer and capable of doing it efficiently.” Ofer’s brother and vice president of production. 105 “This was going to be a competition in a world of equals. After a week of inquiries with several external experts. had not yet been tried elsewhere in the world for these kinds of tall cranes that have a very high center of gravity and a very narrow base and can be destabilized rather easily. I understood immediately that if we wanted to win and also make a profit from this large tender. The team began investigating the feasibility of the proposed solution. I saw large barges towing a huge drilling rig in the open sea. The idea was to transfer the crane from the quay directly onto a giant barge (roll-in). was appointed as head of the think tank. which.” Amos reflects on the financial risk involved: “I estimated the cost of preparing such an offer at approximately $300. Amos Klein. we had to change the game.000. and unload the crane by transferring it from the barge to the quay (roll-out) on the tracks that are already installed at the destination port. transport it by sea using a special tugboat to tow the barge. The team began to examine this original and challenging idea. if at all. He describes his innovative idea: “On a visit I made several years ago to the oil fields in the North Sea. then we had to find a solution that was different from the conventional solution. I preferred to wait until I was convinced that . which would go down the drain if we failed to win the tender.
” Ofer further elaborates on the process: “With the help of Yitzhak. without yet revealing any details about the specific tender. a marine engineer. a marine structural designer. knowledge of the civil and military activity in the Israeli ports. such as the wave pattern in the eastern basin of the Mediterranean and its effect on the barge’s stability. We came to the conclusion that a marine engineer who was familiar with the subject should be added to the team immediately to help prepare the tender. such as a meteorologist. the intensity and direction of the ocean currents. Several European companies expressed interest in the matter and asked for additional technical details before giving their final consent. on board. Amos underscores the importance of this decision: “At this early stage. maritime insurance and legal experts. as a kind of go/no-go test. it seemed critical to cope with marinerelated issues. did we decide to move on to the next stage. namely to prepare a proposal.106 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent the proposed method was indeed feasible. “In parallel. and so on.” .000 in preliminary tests. during which it became clear that the chances of successfully executing this innovative idea were good. we located several companies that specialize in the transportation of oil drilling equipment in the North Sea. These consultants were asked to perform initial reviews of the proposed idea and give their feedback. we focused on identifying experts in the relevant areas. in which we requested full cooperation in the preparation of the tender. Only after a fortnight of intensive examinations. We decided to risk $50.” The decision was also made to bring Yitzhak. and so forth. but we did not yet have those technical details. We sent each of those companies a letter of intent.
After approaching several European companies. each of which was computer-controlled so as to inflate . The barge is equipped with a special computer-controlled gyro system. the appropriate equipment was located in an Italian company specializing in towing marine vessels and large-scale marine projects. the tugboat’s cable system must create a continuous and uniform pull. a special cart would be needed to transport the crane from its location on the track on one quay onto the barge and from the barge to the quay at the destination port. capable of carrying a load of some 3. 107 Yitzhak.200 wheels. Hence. were estimated at $150.” In addition. The initial calculations done by the designers revealed that the quay was not built to withstand heavy local loads such as that expected to be created by the crane’s weight upon being transferred to the quay over the wheels of the cart. the computer.000 a day. which activates 12 pumps that pump seawater into the various tanks on the barge in order to balance it. Using an appropriate algorithm and based on previous rolling patterns. Finally. with workdays counted from the day of the vessels’ departure from the Italian port until their return. outlines the planned approach: “The main challenge when dealing with a loaded barge in the open seas is to prevent the cargo. It had 1. who was in charge of coordinating the activities of all the designers and consultants. The costs for the tugboat and the barge. with maximum neutralization of various forces that result from the independent and separate motion on the sea of the connected tugboat and barge. This kind of a cart was located in Germany. Most importantly. which is programmed in advance according to the various scenarios. especially that with irregular dimensions. a multi-wheeled cart was required to minimize the local load on each wheel. from rolling with the waves. can successfully predict the intensity and direction of the next roll and balance the barge in time accordingly.000 tons. any backup capacity of alternative equipment that might be required in case of malfunction was typically difficult to obtain in the existing market.
no accommodations were made for this option as part of the tender documents. because the client might have rejected the method out of hand. Despite all these preparations. each of the participants in the proposal preparation process was required to sign a confidentiality agreement. with workdays counted from the day of the ship’s departure from the German port until its return. so we decided to seek legal advice on the contractual aspects of our unusual proposal. and we were well aware of his sensitivity to changes in the tender conditions.000 a day. The cost of the cart was approximately $30.” Because the proposed solution was so innovative. as was customary. . As Ofer explains: “We had executed many projects for this client. All of the technical and contractual documents were designed to deal only with the overland solution. assuming that proper technical support and attractive cost estimates were provided. the client was not even aware of the possibility that transfer could be done any other way than by land. the success of the bid depended on total compartmentalization of its preparation process and on meticulously safeguarding against any leakage of information about the proposed method. We were advised that the client would find it difficult to object to our innovative solution.108 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent or deflate in order to maintain leveling of the cart. who was responsible for supplying the barge and the tugboat. We were concerned that proposing a solution so different from the tender conditions might lead to our immediate disqualification. Any premature disclosure of information could have been devastating for Mifram. Therefore. which included severe sanctions against anyone who might breach it. A representative of the Italian contractor. also joined the team. Thus. His experience in the marine transportation of irregular cargo contributed significantly to pricing of the proposal and identification of the project’s potential risks.
This decision turned out to be the most difficult one. We identified an opportunity. Ofer deliberated between his natural desire to maximize his profits and to quote a price closer to the “conventional” $4 million. rather. the . we were like an entrepreneur. separate from the other team. Since many of our competitors also resort to ‘business intelligence’ for large contracts. As Ofer emphasizes: “It was very important for us to know whether or not the competitors had uncovered our intentions. we were confident that we knew how to convert our idea into successful results. 109 Likewise. we went one step further. we developed a new idea to address it. We invested great efforts in trying to identify any approaches made by the competitors to large contractors and suppliers in Israel and abroad. prefer the proven and safe solution over the never-before-tried proposal.” One last decision remained prior to submitting the proposal: the tender price. Mifram took all possible steps to prevent leaks of information about the plan to the competition in order to ward off attempts by any other companies to adopt the same idea. The “conventional” price of the overland solution was about $4 million per crane. Ofer shares his final considerations: “I realized that we were not like a typical contractor submitting a bid to a client. Since this ‘investor’ is a public entity and thus its primary concern is to minimize risks. if the price difference was too small. whereas the estimated cost of the marine alternative was only about $1 million per crane. and now we were trying to sell our idea and our confidence to an investor. We established an additional team. The fear of a future lawsuit due to excessive profits was also a significant consideration. who might. and in a controlled manner we released information about the work of this team. which prepared a proposal for the land transportation option. and his fear of putting himself at increased risk vis-a-vis the client.
it had been concluded that the method we were proposing was unreasonable. Ofer and I were summoned by the Tenders Committee. the Tenders Committee saw that five of the six proposals indeed were within the estimated range. and we were not ready to give up. a most attractive proposal for both client and bidder. The Ports Authority would have to explain to the High Court of Justice their rejection of a bid that . undoubtedly. covered all our risks. I felt that developing the new idea was crucial to our success. Following the Tenders Committee’s notification.” But Mifram had already anticipated this reaction. and was very attractive to the client. but selling it would probably be our most challenging hurdle. we met and brainstormed with the company’s legal advisors. The Chairman of the Committee informed us that after an in-depth examination. and that Mifram’s surprising bid was approximately fifty percent lower.” Upon opening the bids. as a public entity. including safety. The Committee decided to reject it out of hand.110 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent price should be very attractive. as well as a commitment to shorten the relocation time for each crane from three months to only one month. We also added an accompanying letter to our proposal in which we provided reassurance that despite the low bid price. so that the public entity would not have a choice but to ‘invest’ in our idea. It was clear to us that the client. exercising its contractual right not to prefer the least expensive bid in this case. finally I decided to give the sum of $2 million as the tender price for the relocation of each crane. as Ofer describes: “We were prepared for such a scenario. Amos recalls: “Several days later. was not entitled to so hastily reject an offer that was significantly cheaper than all the other contenders. we would meet all of the tender conditions. It was. “So. This price guaranteed a fair profit.
Mifram decided to concentrate its efforts on the legal arguments vis-a-vis the Ports Authority management rather than on the engineering/technical arguments vis-a-vis the Tenders Committee. The Tenders Committee notified Mifram that after reconsidering all of the arguments. the Ports Authority’s professionals opened the meeting by expressing their grave concern about potential damage to the cranes. I got up and placed the full cup of coffee I had in my hand on the tray and then I carefully lifted the tray. it had decided to grant the bidder a hearing before the client’s senior legal and technical team in order to present it with the proposed solution. The drink in the cup did not move.” At this critical point in time. our proposal was not treated as fanciful and illogical again. would remove his objections. I explained to the client that this was exactly the essence of the action we would be taking: The cranes would appear to be on solid ground all the time. Ofer responded by way of example: “I understood the point that seemed critical to the client and chose to respond immediately. This approach proved to be successful. As expected. The Authority’s legal advisor recommended to the Tenders Committee members that at this stage.’ and from this point onward. which according to the manufacturer’s definition were not suited to be tossed around by the waves. . The entire technical consulting team that had helped prepare the proposal was summoned for the hearing. in the absence of the maritime risk. they refrain from rejecting the bid out of hand. This tangible demonstration ‘broke the ice. 111 met all of the tender conditions and that was submitted by a proven contractor.” At the end of the hearing. Indeed. then he. the client. and the Italian marine contractor was flown in for the occasion. the Ports Authority’s chief engineer concluded that if the crane manufacturer was willing to take the risk upon itself and approve the marine transfer. and instead request additional clarifications regarding the proposal.
therefore. The client. It was important to us to make it clear to the crane manufacturer that our primary task was to guarantee the crane’s perfect stability throughout the entire process. and to build in safety factors that were three times higher than the calculated requirements for overland transport. Ofer was also sympathetic to the client’s concerns: “I understood that the client was willing to listen to us and that it was now up to only us to land the job. with the crane manufacturer convinced about the safety of the marine transfer. I. including certificates from the crane manufacturer and other drawings and calculations guaranteeing that all risks to the cranes and quays had been taken into account and that the transfer of the cranes by sea would not affect their performance or void the manufacturer’s warranty. these terms were quite reasonable: “The client’s requirements seemed logical to me.” But there was much to be done in that one-week grace period granted by the client. They agreed to send the client a letter . In Yitzhak’s estimation. too. agreed to give Mifram a one-week extension during which it was required to submit additional technical data. It had to be ascertained that the crane would not actually be affected by any change during its marine transfer. would have done the same. especially in light of the fact that this adventuresome idea had never been tried before. We planned to conform to all of the manufacturer’s requirements.” A series of meetings in Belgium with the crane manufacturer’s technical and administrative team was scheduled in order to obtain approval for the proposed plan. specifically that the extent of jolting would be in accordance with the Belgian manufacturer’s guidelines and would not in any case exceed the permitted limit for land activity.112 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent the proposed method seemed preferable in all other respects. including reinforcing and securing the crane on the barge during the sea voyage. as if it were on solid ground rather than on the sea. The meetings lasted two days and ended successfully.
He indicated to me that this was his last project before retiring from the Ports Authority and that failure of the project would cast a long shadow over his entire career: ‘I believe in the method you are proposing and I expect your personal commitment to its success. they were also going to benefit directly. I ask that you do not disappoint me. there was no apparent reason to prevent the marine transfer of the cranes. Beyond his personal concerns about putting his career on the line. who was entrusted with the task of making the final decision on whether or not to approve the method. All of the required documents. the chief engineer’s . Ofer recalls: “Before we entered the meeting with the Committee.” Ofer decided at this stage not to limit his attention to the engineering issues. were presented to the Ports Authority’s chief engineer. As an entrepreneur aiming to improve his chances of “selling his idea. The possibility of considerably shortening the duration of crane downtime and concentrating the work during the holiday season. He chose to mount a parallel campaign with the Haifa and HaKishon port managements. including the letter from the Belgian manufacturer. when the workload in the ports would be significantly reduced. for whom the shutdown of the cranes’ operation would have had a critical impact on operations. and I made a commitment to him to make every effort to ensure that the project succeeds. was an attractive prospect for the port managers. 113 specifying that in light of the material presented. After hearing the persuasive arguments. whereas the chief engineer was a public servant who did not stand to gain any direct benefits from taking such risks.” It should be stressed that although Ofer and Amos might have been taking a real risk. the chief engineer summoned me to a one-on-one meeting.’ The engineer’s sincere words moved me. and confirming that the warranties on the cranes would not be void following such a move. they relayed their impressions and recommendations to the Tenders Committee accordingly.
even the slightest hint on the part of the chief engineer would have sufficed for the Belgian manufacturer to reject Mifram’s request out of hand. “Although the specific task at hand was completely outside my area of expertise. About a month later. In all likelihood. the Tenders Committee issued an approval of Mifram as the winning contractor. that this project had only two possible outcomes: a complete success or a complete failure. This experience guided me in selecting the execution strategy—meticulous preparations coupled with enhanced redundancies—and was also very handy in quickly identifying the right experts. The Ports Authority’s chief engineer proceeded to inform the Tenders Committee that after reviewing all of the documents he had received. At that time. he was now ready to approve the transfer method suggested by Mifram. The Risk Reduction Phase Upon receiving the official notification about being awarded the job. I had already acquired rich experience in leading ‘out-of-the-box’ projects. who was coveting that tender. a few of them from . Amos took the role of project manager: “While it was not clear when the actual transportation would start and we assumed we had about two months for detailed preparations. the Ports Authority was about to issue a large tender for the supply of new cranes. Accordingly. Partial success would be a disaster for the client and for us. would have probably complied with any request made by the Authority’s engineer. and the Belgian manufacturer.114 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent willingness to support the plan was praiseworthy for another reason as well. all along. it was very clear. the overall objective of all our preparatory activities was also very clear: Reduce risk and eliminate it to the greatest extent possible.
the thickness of the tension cables had to be two and a half times that . A steel bridge was designed and manufactured to connect the quay to the center of the barge to stabilize it and keep the crane’s load uniformly distributed over the barge surface when loading or unloading it. For other. we started by testing our models in sophisticated labs. 115 abroad. The magnet was designed to prevent punctured wheels by collecting all of the sharp metal objects. For other aspects. where knowledge was completely missing. In some cases. I relied almost blindly on the input of the experts. which was equipped with a drive system that included about 1. either because of the subject or the expert. and to determine the required harnessing.” There were many other issues that had to be addressed by Amos and his team in order to minimize risk. where extreme scenarios were examined. was commissioned to test a computer model of the crane/barge system in a wind tunnel on a dynamic platform in order to calculate the forces expected to act on the crane during the sea voyage. the Faculty of Aeronautics at the Technion. but in most cases. For example. I decided to seek a second opinion. We examined even very extreme scenarios. Finally. such as nails and screws. scattered along the route. more complicated aspects. the Israel Institute of Technology. For example. analysis.200 wheels to minimize the load on the quay. and design. Another safety issue was preventing the barge from swaying dangerously due to the transfer of the crane from the quay to the barge and back. which might damage anchored ships and shut down the quay for an extended period of time. a powerful magnetic surface was mounted on the front of the overland vehicle. such as the capsizing of the crane on the quay during the overland transfer. with the swaying of the waves. “For some aspects. we followed the typical design engineering patterns of information collection. the design was preceded by brainstorming meetings. as well as in adopting an appropriate decision-making process.
including the number of wheels (1. and daily changes of work clothes. In order to provide immediate solutions for any mishap related to the critical issue of harnessing the crane to the barge during the sea voyage. welders. such as foremen. transportation. Special attention was given to the development of an accelerated. fueling. and 30 employees of local subcontractors (heavy equipment operators. cables. work crews were reinforced.” Moreover. generators. The project workforce included 190 workers. team leaders. the best available people in the market were hired at a premium cost. comprised of 120 Mifram employees. and so on). for all critical systems. Strong emphasis was placed on selecting the right people for key positions. the safety requirements embraced were much higher than those dictated by the direct calculations. and maintenance crews). but comprehensive. the maritime insurance company. 40 foreign workers (tugboat and barge operational crews). Amos decided to triple the amount of designated equipment (such as welding apparatuses. . lavatories and showers on the barge. training program for the different trades. Indeed.000 tons). Amos started focusing on the people side of it as well. In more than a few cases. whose job it was to approve the harnessing of the crane to the barge before each departure from port. and equipment operators. While still refining the “hardware” side of the mission. Extremely rigorous tests were also conducted. including hot meals.200) and the capacity of the barge (3.116 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent required by the calculations in order to satisfy Lloyd’s. Amos even decided to purchase new tools and clothing labeled with the name of the project so as to enhance the identification of the workers with the project. as if I was about to purchase this equipment. cranes. and an additional backup crew was added to each shift. A project manager was specially appointed to take care of all the administrative issues on site. as Amos illustrated: “I decided to invite an expert in ship building and asked him to examine the tugboat and the barge very thoroughly.
Accurate, reduced-size models of the crane, the barge, and the cart, including electrical motors, were built to train the workers and drill them on the loading and unloading processes, with an emphasis on safety. An extremely detailed plan, with about 300 specific activities, was prepared for each sea voyage. Important procedures were not only described in words, but were also drawn on large sheets of paper in order to ensure that all concerned would understand them and adhere to them. Various safety checklists were also prepared and played a central part in the training sessions, later being distributed to all key functionaries. While Amos was leading the preparatory activities, his brother, Ofer, had developed better ties with the Ports Authority’s chief engineer. As Ofer explained: “From the moment we received the notice to proceed, I took it upon myself to gain and maintain the trust of the chief engineer. Therefore, all relevant information that was available to us was forwarded freely and transparently to the chief engineer. I felt that this went a long way toward strengthening the trust between the two of us. I really don’t believe that the first surprise we encountered in this project had anything to do with the trust that had developed, but at the same time it definitely did not hurt.” That first surprise was an out-of-the-blue request from the Ports Authority to deliver two very large cranes—this time from Haifa to Ashdod. Both cranes weighed 1,100 tons each and stood about 85 meters high. Only a few minor changes were necessary to accommodate these two additional cranes. The most significant change was to prepare alternative mooring places along the way, because the distance between Haifa and Ashdod is about 130 kilometers, as opposed to the 7-kilometer distance between Haifa and Hakishon. This change would have only a marginal cost and time impact, and the formal contractual agreement with the Ports Authority was arranged quickly—a big boon for Mifram.
Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent
The Constant Vigilance Phase
The first sea voyage with one of the big cranes went flawlessly according to plan until the tugboat and the barge were about to enter the port of Ashdod. Without any advance warning to the captain, the tugboat was not allowed to enter the port, and it was left waiting at the end of the line. Because the barge must be constantly on the move to minimize oscillations, this delay was risky. Following a series of urgent phone calls to the Ashdod Port management, which took about thirty minutes, the tugboat was finally given permission to enter the port. It turned out that the very recent addition of the two cranes from Haifa to Ashdod in the scope of the work had not been coordinated with the workers in Ashdod. A couple of hours later, representatives of the Ashdod Port’s union and management were meeting to discuss the long-term development plans for the port. In the wake of the incident that had just occurred, they also made one short-term decision: to allow the tugboat to enter the port without any delay the next time it arrives. By the time the crane was unloaded safely and placed in its new location in Ashdod, everybody was extremely pleased, both on the side of the client and the contractor. That is, except for Ofer: “The full success of the first relocation actually worried me a lot. I was afraid of the ‘driver with one arm hanging out the window’ syndrome. Over-complacency on the part of the workers might impair their alertness and readiness to cope with mishaps. I collected all of the workers and commended them on a job well done, while reiterating and warning about the high risk inherent in each relocation: ‘Each delivery is a new task that depends to a great extent on factors over which we have limited control, and so we must not delude ourselves that the success of one relocation necessarily means success of the next.’” One of the brothers, Amos or Ofer, was constantly with the workforce throughout the entire operation. They were closely involved in
this 24/7 operation and worked on it in shifts, including weekends and holidays, staying together with the workers and even eating with them. As Ofer underscored: “This was our norm for all the special projects we carried out, and our people expected it. We believed that this way we can learn quickly about changes and react in a timely manner, and not less importantly, we can naturally infect the entire workforce with our passion and energy. We promised large bonuses to the workers, but we believed that the role model approach is a more effective motivator. Our work philosophy was that the workers should stay focused on their task, religiously adhering to their procedures, while they were expected to ‘raise a flag’ if they observed a change in their surroundings. It was the responsibility of the various managers to react quickly, to adjust the procedures, or to improvise a new solution.” In addition to this process of identifying changes, each step in the transfer of every crane was continuously documented and photographed from different angles (land, sea, and air) in order to identify any possible mishap in advance, to implement lessons from each voyage to the next, and to minimize risks. All of the execution stages, the processes implemented, and the work and equipment invested were documented in a detailed logbook in order to draw immediate lessons from one relocation to the next. Prior to each sea voyage, all vessels and designated equipment were meticulously inspected according to an inspection guidelines document (“Readiness for Towing”), prepared by the marine engineer in collaboration with the captain of the tugboat. This included, among other things, a thorough inspection of harnessing and connections between the crane and the barge, the qualifications of the professional crew, and the validity of the licenses and certificates for all of the auxiliary equipment. All planning aside, Ofer was realistic about expecting the unexpected: “Although we were quite confident that we had prepared
Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent
ourselves meticulously in the best way possible for this unique and risky operation, we were still sure that we would encounter surprises. So we had to be constantly vigilant.” And there was, indeed, no lack of surprises. Amos shares one of the emergencies they had to cope with: “On the morning before Yom Kippur, the holiest and most solemn day of the year for the Jews, the barge was in Haifa Port with the second crane destined for Ashdod Port on it. It was obvious to me that we would not make it in time to unload the crane before Yom Kippur and return to port in time. Due to the shortage of mooring place at Haifa Port, we were instructed to sail the barge to the shallow waters of Hakishon Port and let it wait there until the end of the holiday, with the crane on it.” Waiting in HaKishon Port for 48 hours would require “sinking” the loaded barge until close to the sea bed in order to increase its stability. After all of the arrangements were completed, however, the marine engineer recalled a past incident in which a loaded tanker had capsized in Hakishon Port under similar circumstances due to “suction forces” that the muddy soil of the port had exerted on the bottom of the ship. Ofer and Amos realized that they could not afford to take any chances and must change the previous decision. They went ahead and requested approval, after all, to moor in the Haifa Port for 48 hours. This change in plans on the eve of the holiday, when all of the approving entities were already off duty, was practically impossible. The port master refused to approve the request. There was indeed a problem, because the designated quay was completely full of passenger ships that were anchored in Israel for the duration of the holiday. In the final hour, arrangements were made for mooring of the loaded barge in the Haifa Port, conditional upon Mifram’s agreement to bear the cost of moving and coordinating the mooring of several ships on the quay. Only Ofer’s personal involvement and intensive
action vis-a-vis the person responsible for the moorings in the port yielded this last-minute solution. Following the holiday, the voyage to Ashdod continued, though many small disturbances were encountered along the way. Despite their constant attention to meteorological conditions, with rerouting of the tugboat as deemed necessary, on this specific trip they had to cope with changes even after they had left the port in Haifa. They had not one, but two false starts when they were warned that the sea was expected to be squally. First, the tugboat captain decided to return and go back to Haifa, where they had to wait for the sea to quiet down, even though it delayed the trip by two days. During their second attempt, they were warned again of a squally sea, and this time the captain decided to moor in the alternative harborage in Hadera, which was prepared in advance for such an event. Amos recalls: “Due to the high waves, the barge could not maintain its stability, the head of the crane was making large circles in the air, and everything was noisy and squeaky. I have to admit it was quite scary. During those moments, prior to entering the harbor, we felt very thankful for the extra harnessing we had installed.” Besides the squally conditions at sea, the barge was getting jostled around even while moored in the port. Small military vessels that were accustomed to exiting and entering the ports at high speed created waves in their wake that jostled the barge, particularly during the critical periods when the crane was being loaded onto the barge until its final harnessing. Again, Ofer was proactive in meeting with the Navy commanders and was able to coordinate the movement of military vessels by day and night so that they would pass by the barge in a slow and controlled manner. However, they had to cope with major mishaps as well. During the second transfer, a severe malfunction occurred that compromised human life and threatened to shut down the entire project. One night, while attaching the crane’s harnessing cables to the barge, a foreign ship hit the harnessing cable that connected the barge to the quay and
Nice Guy.or coordination-related. we had been very nice to the client and to the Haifa Port management. A debriefing was performed shortly after the completion of each relocation operation. The event was apparently caused by the failure of the port management to inform the captain of the foreign ship that the crane was being loaded onto the barge. with the lessons used immediately as a basis for analysis and planning of the next transport. closer coordination with the port authorities was also executed prior to each transport. we immediately said. Ofer was stunned by their request: “The Italians’ demand astonished me. which by chance was on the quay with its arm open and ready to load equipment onto the barge. Amos did not mince words on this point: “Up until that event. to secure the end of the cable and pull it to the quay. The method of securing the barge to the quay was also changed to prevent damage to the cables by any random ship. as well as the magnitude of the client’s neglect. to the extent that it was feared that it would crash against the quay and cause the crane to collapse onto adjacent vessels. Their resourcefulness not only saved the operation. An alternative harnessing cable had to be transferred immediately from the barge to the quay and attached to the mooring installation on the shore. When we understood the severity of the event and its implications. This was contrary to the agreement. but also prevented a major disaster. This caused the barge to roll heavily. The tugboat captain and a Mifram portable crane operator saved the day by using the portable crane.’” Not all of the problems were weather. We had already . ‘No More Mr. which stipulated that payment would be made after each relocation via bank transfer to the Italians’ bank account. Finally. Some were financially driven. such as when the Italian contractor’s representative approached Ofer and demanded advance cash payment prior to the transport. The lessons from the laceration of the cable by the foreign ship were implemented in the subsequent loading by using observers and enhanced lighting to secure the entire loading area.122 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent disconnected it.
But the standoff was not over yet: “After this relocation was completed. transporting the crane using the overland vehicle took about 5 hours instead of only 45 minutes. without which the tugboat could not execute its task in Africa. This time. as in previous cases. The captain seemed embarrassed in light of the special relationship that had developed between himself and Ofer. an offer that apparently presented an excellent business opportunity for the Italians. but he felt obliged to obey the instructions of his superiors in the company. Even if I had wanted to pay. he could not be forced to take the risk.” The captain was instructed by his employer to explain the termination of work with Mifram by saying that towing of the barge was dangerous and that according to maritime law. giving “work safety” as the reason. At the same time. I could not have done it at that moment because all the banks are closed at night and it was impossible to raise the required amount of money in cash. he instructed his workers to take possession of all the tugboat’s and barge’s loading and mooring equipment. where his urgent presence was required in order to extricate a ship. 123 completed two successful marine transfers and had paid the Italians what they were due without any problem. Ofer asked the Haifa Port authorities not to approve the tugboat’s exit from the port. . the tugboat captain haphazardly informed me that he had received orders from the mother company in Italy ‘to drop everything and set sail that same night’ for Africa. Only after harsh talks between Ofer and the tugboat captain did the latter agree to instruct the crew to return to normal work pace. The captain suggested that Ofer speak directly with the CEO of the Italian company and inform him that he intended to involve the Italian embassy in Israel and the Haifa Port management in order to prevent the tugboat from leaving the country.” The Italians decided to stage a “strike” and deliberately slowed down the execution process.
Even more importantly. and the norm of working closely with their staff in the field contributed to the success of the project. in particular leading the client. The crane relocation project was successfully completed. and eventually a different tugboat was sent from Italy to Africa to execute the other mission. it enables them to tailor their decisions to the context. but not least. The contractor made a higher profit than he had originally planned because of the significant expansion of the work at a relatively low marginal cost. The client saved about 50 percent of his budget (direct cost) and additional sums due to the shorter shutdown time of the cranes and the quays. the quality of the people they recruited and developed throughout the years. while Ofer adds building trust and leadership. Finally. they pointed out that when the heads of the organization are also the heads of the project. their ability to make decisions and quickly implement them is enhanced. if needed. Last. Both Ofer and Amos agree that their rich experiences with “outof-the-box” projects. to hire a consultant and. the workers received high premiums for their outstanding performance. both Amos and Ofer agree that the most crucial weapon they brought to a dynamic environment was the fact that they complemented each other and created a dynamic harmony. Regarding the flat organizational structure. Amos adds to this list boldness and systematic planning. to pay him twice the going rate. their company’s flat organizational structure. for example. .124 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent The threats and actions taken were effective. The entire project took only about four weeks and was cause for celebration by all parties.
The program was rife with problems when I arrived.” 125 . ‘I would rather retire than let that many people go. A lot of these people had been on the program for the full 20 years it had existed. and everyone on the program knew about it—civil servants. and support contractors.5 A Successful Downsizing: Developing a Culture of Trust and Responsibility by Alexander Laufer.’ he had said. and many thought they were going to stay there until they retired. The Air Force had issued a mandate to draw down the workforce. military personnel. not the least of which was the mandated drawdown plan that had not been met. and Alistair Cockburn My Engineering Staff Shrunk from 80 to 12 Judy Stokley recalls the challenges she faced when she took over as program director of the Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida: “Talk about a difficult start. Dan Ward. “The program director before me had not been able to face letting people go. and that’s exactly what he did—so there was a perception in the program office that perhaps we would be able to ‘escape’ compliance with the directive.
people rushed to gather around her. After the meeting ended. Judy provided them with an outlet to express their frustration. I had to deal with disgruntled people whispering behind my back when I walked past them. She tried to make it clear that she did not intend to just pass out pink slips. On a personal level. “It was neither pleasant nor easy. and the program office team was reduced to just 68 by the end of the fiscal year. One thing that I worried about was that somebody in the program office might take that frustration to an extreme. I had never experienced anything like it before. All you have to do is watch the evening news to realize that it would be foolish to write such things off as impossible. It was a daunting task to tell them that in less than a year. The cards were deposited in a box at the end of the meeting. AMRAAM’s chief engineer. and let me tell you. and she reassured them that they would receive assistance in finding new jobs. Every constructive recommendation—no matter how mundane—was actually implemented. She held monthly meetings where she gave everyone note cards to anonymously write down complaints or recommendations. more than half of them would no longer be working in the program office. there is no pleasure in knowing that you are being blamed for other people’s pain. was among the few people in the program who supported Judy’s efforts: . By that. I mean walk into the office with a gun and start shooting people. The initial reaction was dead silence. It was the first time in my life that I had experienced being disliked and gossiped about.126 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent Judy called a meeting of all 200 workers who were assigned to the AMRAAM program in order to explain the drawdown plan.” In order to defuse the tension. George Sudan. competing for her attention to convince her that their particular positions were indispensable. The process moved forward. and a report was given each time to explain what had been done to address the concerns expressed at the last meeting.
my engineering staff had shrunk from 80 to 12. we knew that we had seen the dawn of a new day.” Likewise. I did it and produced a report. In the end. There were five separate simulation models checking the performance of the missile. and make sure it stayed there until our base commander either transferred or retired. including two contractors (Hughes and Raytheon) with their own simulation models. Still. AMRAAM’s chief financial officer. The government simulations might have been necessary during the research and development stage. she proved that acquisition reform doesn’t have to be a pipe dream. and they were already getting that at their own facilities. I wondered whether anyone. I understood immediately that it was time to open up my desk drawer and dust off that report. the Navy with its model. her predecessor asked me to do a cost study on how to save money. The contractors were the ones who needed the data. . lock it up inside my desk drawer. recalls: “We talked about acquisition reform in the AMRAAM program office for some time before Judy took over as program director.’ she said.” No one needed a study to see that the AMRAAM program was spending too much money. but he told me to take that report. To many of us who had given up hope that real reform was possible. She seemed to understand that acquisition reform—real reform—entailed something more significant than the cosmetic changes I had seen thus far. Her reaction was very different than her predecessor’s. After the six-month process was completed. ‘Why. Dennis Mallik. 127 “I was glad when Judy arrived at AMRAAM. In the early 1990s. and two independent simulations conducted at Eglin Air Force Base. could change the status quo and bring about serious reform. we’ve got to get this information out to people. but the need for that much expensive redundancy had to be called into question after the production phase started. no matter how dedicated a leader. “When Judy became program director.
Here’s their radio frequency guy. Engineers need to get out of the meddling business and into the specifications and verification business. you fake left.’” AMRAAM was the largest program on Eglin Air Force Base. He had apparently already complained about me through his chain of command. George Sudan. the attitude of management at AMRAAM was that: ‘You can’t trust these dirty contractors. with various stakeholders receiving AMRAAM money each year and viewing that as their right. Thus. If he fakes left. we were harassing our ‘opponents’ all the time. claims: “We don’t do engineering very well in the government anymore. and the other thing.128 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent Sometimes it might appear that government engineers are too busy telling the contractors how to do their job rather than doing their own. the reforms being introduced would be expected to have a tremendous impact on a number of parties involved. so we’ve got to have a radio frequency guy. Here’s their software guy. ‘Let me see your documents. “Unfortunately. so we’ve got to have a software guy. For our part on the government side. Let me review this. They’re all out to take advantage of you. starting with a call one day that the base commander at Eglin wanted to see her: “Some of my people got wind of what was coming and warned me that the base commander was furious about not being funded for this. but we do have a lot of people who like to dabble in it. Judy Stokley personally experienced the weight of what was at stake. Let me see how you did that.’ They expected us to line up with the contractor as though it were a basketball game. . AMRAAM’s chief engineer. but that requires the support of management. that.
so he demanded a face-to-face meeting.’” . especially when it occurs in a public forum. he had to figure out how to deal with me on his own. I always shock them when I remark. red in the face and with eyes bulging. 129 “I heard that he had gone all the way to my bosses in Washington. “At the end of the briefing. beautiful conference room.’ To me. especially in the Department of Defense. That way. she remained courteous. he attacked every word out of Judy’s mouth with caustic remarks along the lines of how contractors are out there making millions off the government and how he didn’t have any use for industry. where he was told. I want him to make a profit. he can’t get out ahead of the problems and can’t invest in my products. He sat down without speaking. Judy understood that many people in the government. and I want to help him make it. it’s a big deal to meet with a base commander. Thank you very much for your attention today and all the time you have given me. making it clear that he felt no need to be civil.” Throughout the meeting in his conference room. I said. the commander flung open the door to his private office and strode into the conference room.’ After that. Still. people were already seated all around the table. By the time I arrived at his big. have a problem with the idea that a contractor should make a profit: “They think that they need to go to the negotiating table having gotten the contractor down so low on his cost that if he has one problem. he’s going to be in the red. “In the Air Force. ‘We pay her to execute efficient and effective programs. ‘Sure. ‘I will proceed as planned with this program. We don’t pay her to shore up work forces at the product centers. Suddenly. the worst thing in the world is to do business with a contractor in the red.
and teamwork between the government and the contractors. I don’t think anyone could make sense of it. like for instance if a part went obsolete or there was a problem with a vendor. She believed that without a radical change in the culture of the organization. Although she was authorized by the Pentagon to proceed with the downsizing and knew fully well how to achieve it. The document was hundreds of pages thick. or screw. and it was a disaster. her mission would not be truly accomplished. I brought a copy of the ‘spec tree’ that governed the program at the time. Not long after she announced the drawdown plan in the program office. and Judy struggled to sell it both to government and industry. she hosted a meeting with several of the key members of Hughes and Raytheon. but insufficient. Acquisition reform was difficult to grasp for many people involved with AMRAAM. To make my point.130 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent Partnership The downsizing was painful. So Judy took it upon herself to change the project culture. “If something needed to be changed for any reason. both for many people in the base as well as for Judy herself. down to the lowest-level nut. and it illustrated all that was wrong with AMRAAM. she also knew that downsizing alone was a necessary. and what we were going to do to improve it. people had added endless low-level specs. Over the years. condition for lasting success. The government paid the contractor to make . bolt. “I wanted to talk with them about our ‘partnership. mutual support. The contractor documented every change in parts.’ what was wrong with it. it would prove to be an arduous and complicated task to create a relationship of trust. involving a shift from control to trust and responsibility. then the contractor had to submit an Engineering Change Proposal and the government had to approve it. However. and sent those change proposals all day long. the two contractors building the missile.
Because if you do.’” This was a perfect expression of what was holding them back. I have to write him a contract letter and pay him to do it. ‘Starting Monday. I realized that I wasn’t going to convince him . It was indicative of the way in which they had managed their business for years.’ said the Raytheon vice president. They were used to doing things a certain way.’ “Everyone looked at him. the government pays.’ he continued. if we change something. ‘Today. ‘if we change something here. “Coming together in a partnership meant more than just saying. and you are going to make sure that we have a good product out there. I’ve got to make sure that before you agree to this. I don’t think there’s any way you’ll agree to it. To say that things got tense is putting it mildly. simple set of performance specifications that the contractor could control. you understand what she’s saying. ‘If I want my contractor to flush the toilet in Tucson. “’Oh man. 131 the changes or else they didn’t get done. they could only see risk. while paying a fair price for the product on the government side. we don’t want any part of this. and change— regardless of how necessary—made them jittery. we’re a team. She was striving to create a win-win situation for both sides by taking an unwieldy spec tree and writing a good. I used to say.’” Judy wanted to change that mindset and get the contractors to develop what she referred to as a “heart and soul” relationship with their products.’ “I laid all this out at the meeting I held with the contractors. and then back at me. we pay. Raytheon’s chief engineer stood up and spoke across the room to his vice president: ‘Boss. They couldn’t see opportunity. All of a sudden. but what she’s telling you is that with this deal. I’m going to help you make a decent profit.’ I told my counterparts on the contractor side: ‘I’m going to help you pay for everything.
but he could also see where we might go and what we . Chuck not only knew where we had been. We at Hughes needed to fix it. Chuck Anderson. My company wasn’t obligated to do a darn thing.’ That was a $3-million decision. the head of the AMRAAM program at Hughes. “I walked straight into the program director’s office and said.132 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent to embrace reform if he fundamentally didn’t want to change. we had a problem—a big problem—with the control section of the missile. He could only see where we had been. had a past experience with Judy and was much closer to her management philosophy than his superiors. Judy saw that. The best I could hope for was that he would go along with it until he saw that the reforms worked. she recounts: “Fortunately. it was a different story with the Hughes vice president.” Chuck believed that his company had a responsibility to take care of its customers and live up to its agreements. even prior to her initiation of the drawdown: “Back when Judy Stokley was Deputy Program Director. and it was our problem. It was a design issue. but that’s not the way I thought we should do business. It was only my second week on the job. and he feared the problems that could befall us if we wavered from that.” As it turned out. she understood that she had a teammate ready and willing to reform a troubled program. and we’re going to do it at our company’s expense. ‘We’re going to fix the missiles. They were so cynical about working with the government that they had a hard time believing I could offer any kind of deal that would be good for them. Realizing the huge impact that Chuck would have on the success of the change. and I went to Eglin Air Force Base to discuss the issue. His mouth hung open in disbelief. Chuck Anderson. and when she took over as the program director.
‘Chuck. position by position. They went through the staffing requirements. ‘Look. but still could not come to an agreement. ‘I think I can do it with about a hundred people. tell me what you need to do this job. and she said. “When Raytheon and Hughes merged. Judy announced that we would keep 100 people on the program. but the fact that we had the right person in place on the contractor’s side and a meeting of the minds was a tremendous help in implementing the needed reforms. we have to trust the customer on this. so we would still need to displace a significant number of people.’” . They also knew that a handshake was our only assurance that our customer was going to live up to the agreement.” Chuck Anderson recalls the crucial meeting when Judy’s team came out to Tucson to work with them on staffing and initially proposed drawing down the workforce to as low as 30 positions. 133 could become. I was fortunate to have someone like him on the industry side.’ At the time we had around 400 people working on AMRAAM. Judy and I went into my office. The merger created lots of other issues to deal with. “Finally. Chuck stayed with the program and the Raytheon vice president left to tend other patches of status quo. I remember the look in my team’s eyes. “When we rejoined the group.’ I said to them. We shook hands on the number. apart from everyone else. ‘We have to trust that they understand what kind of risk we’re taking in signing up for this.’ I told her. He knew that he could not get the job done with so few people and warned that the program would not be the same in that case. They knew that many of the people who had worked on the program for years would lose their jobs and that the rest of them would have to figure out how to get the job done with one-quarter of the former workforce.
I actually had to get Raytheon’s chief operating officer to approve it.134 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent Chuck was no stranger to taking risks: “I decided that we were going to open our books to the Air Force. As such. We called it Total System Performance Responsibility. warrant. this meant that the contractor would accept responsibility to do what was necessary and sufficient to develop. Arizona—a long way from Lexington. prompting a swift visit from the Raytheon corporate police. ‘Go to hell. too. he knew that the outcome would be worth the risk: “The biggest reform of all was getting government out of the way to allow the contractor to do the job of designing and building better missiles. I was on report a lot. ‘That’s confidential data! You’re not allowed to show that kind of data to the government. Beyond all that.’ “I told them. we definitely benefited by being in Tucson. and support missiles that would be affordable. My prior track record probably had something to do with it. In . They came to my office and told me that I was breaking the rules.” It wasn’t the first time he had been told that he had no authority to make an agreement with a customer: “They’d try to tell me. “At the time I entered into this agreement with Judy. or TSPR. and readily available. and then threw them out of my office.’ literally. The bottom line was that I had run successful programs all of my career. ‘That has to go to Lexington’ (home to Raytheon’s corporate headquarters).” When it became obvious to Chuck that Judy was trying to seize the merger between Raytheon and Hughes as a catalyst for real reform. and it’s hard to argue with success. I still had a Hughes badge on. Anything over a dollar had to go to Lexington for approval. deliver. Officially. and I was believable. How did I get it done? I said we could pull it off. combat capable.
“I have to admit.” And a hard sell it was. Good people in the government have made commitments to me as a contractor that they have been unable to fulfill. but I had been burned in the past by people with good intentions. changing a capacitor required a four-month approval process up to that point. As ridiculous as it may seem. ‘I’m going to do several hundred million dollars worth of business on a handshake. I trust my customer and they trust me—so you should trust both of us. it meant that the government would trust the contractor to decide when the product successfully met performance requirements. it hasn’t been for lack of trying. I was skeptical that the government was capable of living up to the commitment they made. I have made commitments to the government that I have been unable to fulfill. Don’t worry. thick documents called contracts. recalls: “Judy Stokley’s intentions were good.” But as Chuck knew all too well. whoever has the best lawyer wins. no doubt.’ Most contractual relationships in this industry revolve around legalistic interpretations of big. Likewise. All my freedom to make decisions and ‘do what’s right’ would disappear if I didn’t make reasonable profits. This was a new way of doing business. the contracting officer for Raytheon. Usually. change doesn’t always come easy: “With this merger. Try telling your bosses. In fact. and I had to sell it to my people. I would come under more scrutiny by my corporate office. it was exactly the opposite of what government employees and contractors were used to doing.” One welcome change of TSPR would be to eliminate the long waits required for government approval on simple spec changes: “I had to have a whole bureaucracy in place just to substitute a round capacitor for a square one on a circuit board. 135 layman’s terms. This was a unique approach in government contracting. Tom Gillman. In both cases. .
A large staff on the customer’s side is disruptive to work. That went a long way in proving that the commitment was for real. Everyone needed to work to dispel these toxic stereotypes. describes the sense of mutual distrust: “The contractor’s side thought that the government wanted the product for the lowest price. The bigger their bureaucracy. I used to have one person in my organization for every person that the government was going to assign to a project. On the government side. and so we had a lot of hand-holders. AMRAAM’s chief financial officer. One thing was clear from the process. with a facilitator asking each side—government and contractor—to make one list of its most important issues and another list of what it thought was the other side’s most important issues. it became immediately apparent that there was little trust between them.136 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent “One thing that Judy did to win my trust was to eliminate the bureaucracy on their side. Following the meeting where Chuck and Judy made their handshake agreement. Dennis Mallik. Suddenly. and that freed us up to pay more attention to building missiles. and they thought that the government team was willing to suck our company dry if that was what it took to get a low price. a “mirror exercise” was conducted.” Several key people on Judy’s team came up with original steps aimed at enhancing the understanding and acceptance of the new culture. or else we were never going to be an effective team. the more feeding it took.” . plus the people to do the work. some of the team thought that the contractor only cared about a big profit and didn’t care about quality. we didn’t have to put as much into care and feeding. We had to be staffed in such a way as to take care of our customers. When the two sides shared their information.
137 Dennis decided to apply his own experience to solving the problem and put together a presentation for the contractor’s financial managers and program managers: “I had worked for a contractor for 12 years before I entered the government. it was cash flow. I believed that the contractor’s people would do the best job they could for us. but they saw that I didn’t operate that way. They thought that all I had to do was ask for money today. ‘You’ll be surprised by how much better you do once you get to know the people you’re working with. open communication between the government and the contractor was not the norm on other Air Force projects: “When some of the people working on other programs came by to ask me for advice. It occurred to me that if I educated the contractor about government program planning and budgeting. with frequent emails and telephone calls. they were stunned to learn how open my relationship was with Raytheon.” He learned quite a bit from that visit: “They explained that Raytheon had gone deep into debt to buy Hughes Aircraft.” . and it would be available tomorrow.” The visit also netted him a better rapport with his contractor counterparts: “We continued to meet face-to-face once every couple of months. I might be able to help the situation. and we kept in close contact the rest of the time. One of the things that we worked on was figuring out how I could improve cash flow on the program. Profit wasn’t their main concern. so I helped them to understand that I had a two-year delay before I could get anything written into the budget. I went out to Raytheon and asked for everything I thought I needed to know—and they gave it to me. What I didn’t understand was how little they understood us.” As Dennis explains.’ I explained. They had been told that they couldn’t ask their contractors for information.
Air Force. our traditional way of operating is to ask. contracting officer for the U. it means so much more than the cost of delivering a missile. describes the waste involved in the process prior to implementing the new TSPR approach: “Certain roles that were traditionally performed by the government now made sense for the contractor to do.” as a way of helping to embed this change in philosophy in people’s minds: “In the government. ‘Well.138 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent In another attempt to promote the new culture in AMRAAM. The way it worked was that damaged missiles still under warranty were sent to the contractor’s facility in Tucson. “TSPR Is Not a CLIN. while those with an expired warranty went to government depots for repair.S. chief of logistics for the U. “I found that I had to answer the same question all the time: How much was this Total System Performance Responsibility going to cost? Many people from both the government and the contractor were at a loss to understand what TSPR meant. The way we account for each of these costs on a contract is through a line item: a Contract Line Item Number (CLIN). Col. and one of those was the repair of damaged missiles. Cradle to grave responsibility. When you embrace the TSPR concept. came up with the idea of a coffee mug with the slogan. what does that cost?’ no matter what ‘that’ is. . and instead look at it as a philosophy. Air Force. Wendy Massielo. People were trying to apply that same CLIN approach to understanding what we were doing on AMRAAM. as a number. that’s what we were trying to instill in the contractor. I wanted people to stop thinking of it as a line item.S.” Jerry Worsham.
Who better to keep the engineering up-to-date than the contractor who designed. you could streamline the operation and save money. program manager at Raytheon. and we had exactly 60 days to do whatever was . they only saw that to mean jobs flowing from a military depot to a contractor facility. and the cost savings were substantial—approximately $10 million worth of savings in spare parts alone. As soon as I started talking about the contractor having total system responsibility for the life of the missile. demonstrates how being innovative and initiating change also allowed it to save money: “Traditionally. when a missile arrived at our depot. one of the other things slated for reform was sustainment engineering: “Certain elements of the missile had a history of breaking. which compromised reliability. Each time I talked with someone who was stubbornly opposed to reform. I was there to try to make the most of taxpayer dollars. 139 “The more depots you have. plus management and maintenance facilities. the clock started ticking. and knew the missile better than anybody else? “The way I saw it. the more expenses they incur for the program because every location has to have spare parts in inventory. I became more convinced of the need for reform. built. We looked at what it would cost for the one location at Tucson to do all the depot work. It was a difficult task at times. It made sense that if you could combine those depots. Brock McCaman.” In addition to repairing the missiles. but it was necessary work.” Increasing the responsibility on the contractor also enhanced its sense of ownership. “Some of the depots resisted giving up their work to the contractor. They thought that I was there to shut down jobs.
140 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent necessary to repair the missile and make it available for shipment again. there’s no such thing as beyond economical repair.’ We said to Judy. we send them a bill once a month for a fraction of the cost of what we were doing . “For example. Now we’re measured on field availability.’ and she agreed. ‘Yikes!’ We realized immediately that we couldn’t keep repairing missiles the way we always had—the money wasn’t there. and I can provide you with more missiles per month than I can with ‘turn-around time. and I can get them out with the same amount of energy and for the same cost as the single missile that needs more work. and how many hours it took to repair the unit from the day it came in until the day it went out—and we were required to file reports with all that data. Because the clock is ticking on each unit. “This is the conclusion I came to: Let me decide what to work on and how to work on it. Because of this. Today. we had to tell the government about every nut. sometimes a missile is returned so broken that it isn’t worth repairing. how much it cost. “Here is another way we’re saving money on repairs: Before TSPR.’ our collective response was. bolt. Give me the flexibility to push that one aside and work on those other five missiles. Suppose that I receive one missile that’s smashed up. ‘Want to save money?—then let’s forget about turnaround time.’ From a customer’s point of view. ‘Here’s my budget. we can take the contract for less money and deliver more missiles. and screw we replaced on a missile. who worked on it. After that. I have to throw all kinds of people and resources to get that first. what we call ‘beyond economical repair. Everything is economical if you’ve already paid the contractor to do it. “When Judy came to us and said. I receive five others that just need simple repairs. smashed-up missile fixed so that we can send it out before the 60-day deadline.
for the taxpayer. ‘Let them do their job. the contractors had to feel comfortable that the enablers understood what they were talking about. We’ll work with them to provide insight—not direction.” The enablers had to have a broad background because they were not experts in any one field per se. an engineer with the U. 141 before. for the government. working side-by-side and supporting open communication between the contractor and the government. They knew enough across the board to communicate with people and get them in touch with whoever was needed to help solve their problems. Probably more important than anything else. business reps. Air Force. The contractor’s employees wondered how safe it was to tell this government guy anything and how much they should keep secret.’ and that was what I did. and especially for the war fighter. I had to reassure them that whatever we talked about would remain confidential until .” Constancy of Purpose Jon Westphal. This way of contracting works better for us.’ “The best way to do that was to be on site.S. and we get the missiles back into the field sooner. the contractor is. not oversight. “The first thing I had to do was try to convince the contractor that even though I was from the government. and engineers. Judy Stokley and George Sudan were adamant about this. differentiates between roles and describes his role as an “enabler”: “The government is not in the manufacturing business. finance staff. but rather dealt with everyone— contracts people. program managers. I was there to help in whatever capacity I could. That was the role of an ‘enabler.
‘Yeah. These guys had complete exposure to all our dirty laundry. reporting every little thing. Now reporting problems was no longer considered as good behavior because it violated trust. I’m just going to ask Rick a quick question.’ And they said. you still have some dirty laundry hanging around. I walked down to his office. . where there were five or six engineers standing outside waiting in line.’ I said. and that’s because AMRAAM became an altogether different program under Judy Stokley. what do you think you’re doing?’ I said. Before TSPR. ‘Look guys. but I’m the customer. ‘Come on now.142 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent we had identified the potential impact of a problem and created a plan to overcome it. program manager at Raytheon. but I was skeptical at first about the whole idea of using them. it was easier to forge relationships because more and more people understood my role.’ Right then. I knew that I had been genuinely accepted!” For Brock McCaman. there’s a line here. ‘You’re an enabler. And I don’t care how good you are. it took some time to get comfortable with the notion of a government representative being an asset rather than a liability: “The government thought the enablers were absolutely necessary. Once I got past their initial suspicions about me. when the guys in line jumped on me.’ They objected. Get in the back of the line. government reps would get big points for sniffing out problems in our organization. “About nine months after I started going out to the contractor’s site in Tucson. “It turned out I was wrong. I needed to check something with the director of operations. I figured that this would be just another bunch of government guys watching over us. ‘Hey. I walked up to the front of the line and was about to stick my head in the office and ask my question.
I got the call on my cell phone as I was leaving Eglin. “But I pulled myself together that weekend.’ . I can’t deliver on Price Based Acquisition. There were times during meetings when I would turn to one of them and say. Operating under verbal approval for Price Based Acquisition (PBA) from her boss in Washington. and I called Chuck Anderson at home on Sunday. 143 “Each enabler had different strengths.’ he said. her boss in the Office of the Secretary of Defense told her that they would not be allowed to go forward with PBA. what do you think about this?’ And he would come back with some real jewels.’ ‘Well Judy.’ I said. That was probably as down as I have ever been about my job. ‘Hey. ‘Are you kidding? They’re too valuable not to have around. and yet they never tried to give us contract direction. if that’s the way it is. ‘I’m sorry. ‘Chuck. I said. She went on to tell me that PBA was a ‘dead issue. “At one point down the road.’ She said. but I can’t.’ I was so upset that I had to stop driving. she pitched the plan to Hughes and Raytheon before the merger as one of the benefits of reforming their old way of doing business. and I pulled off the road. ‘Let’s have a video conference on Monday. many of whom are small businesses. and get everybody together to figure out what to do. would not be forced to provide certified cost or pricing data every year.’” One of the things that Judy wanted to do was establish a long-term pricing agreement with the contractors so that their vendors. I guess that’s the way it is. we had a program-wide discussion about whether or not to continue using the enablers. claiming that a lot of people in the political system weren’t happy about the merger. Then a month before they were supposed to award the contract to Raytheon as the sole source provider. I thought I could do it. ‘Don’t come to Washington to try and revisit this. “I was crushed. I can’t get approval for it.
so unless the entire department goes Price Based. Anytime we had a problem. highlights the importance of trust in his working relationship with Dennis Mallik on the Air Force side of the AMRAAM team: “The fact that Dennis invited me to his internal budget meetings and wasn’t afraid to publicly display the openness that existed between the Air Force and Raytheon was not only remarkable. Part of the hurt was that I thought it would damage the business. We have to get cost data from all the same vendors on our other programs. I had been part of trusting relationships with my government .” explains Judy. By the second year. I thought so much depended on getting Price Based Acquisition. the contracting officer for Raytheon. I was embarrassed— but. and I expected every part of the process to fall into place. I explained the situation. I came to understand that my pride had been hurt because I had promised people something I couldn’t do. but the other part was that I took it too personally. it really doesn’t help us that much. At first there was a lot of venting.” Tom Gillman. I had gotten too full of myself. They did miraculous things. the contracting officer. more importantly. it was all perfectly workable. things no one would have believed they could do when we first started working together. and then Tom Gillman. it was unprecedented in government-contractor relationships. there were no barriers anymore.144 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent “On Monday.” “I learned something extremely valuable from this teamwork. I was focused on implementing all these great reforms and strategies. “When you’ve got a strong team. they will figure out how to overcome the little barriers that pop up along the way. spoke up: ‘I never thought the Price Based Acquisition mattered anyway. when we brought the team leaders together for the video conference. they had it worked out before I even knew it was a problem.’ “I still remember that Friday night after the phone call and how I felt like driving off the road.
He regarded me as a member of ‘his’ team as much as anybody who was in the room wearing a government badge.” Sustaining a major cultural change may require constant maintenance. We rented a ballroom. Our customer will help . approximately 80 of us. ‘Do you see anything limiting our abilities to get the job done?’ After that. it was expected that I would speak up and not wait to be asked for my input. was constancy of purpose. but never use it against you. I never used any of the data that I saw at these meetings for business purposes at Raytheon outside of the AMRAAM program. but these were one-to-one relationships that we kept quiet. “My message was: ‘Let’s do what’s right. whenever I saw anything that could impact the AMRAAM program. met for half a day off-site at a hotel. make sure that we meet every requirement. Chuck Anderson describes a practice that he instituted to sustain change: “All of my team members. He asked me only once. “It was the trust to be able to share with your counterpart what is really going on rather than some version that’s been smoothed over by your leadership. lest our leadership get wind of them and scold us for setting such a dangerous example for others. as some said. Because I wanted to honor this trust. make sure that the design is right. Let’s make sure that we deliver on time. every month. “Dennis never told me I couldn’t. I have to emphasize that word again: our. It was to get everybody aligned—or brainwashed. It was the trust that your counterpart is going to listen to you thoughtfully and try to help you come up with a solution. and the whole purpose of that meeting. It was all about our abilities to get the job done. 145 counterparts before. but I understood why I was there. We did this every month.
You need to have real leaders on your team when you’re doing something like we set out to do on AMRAAM. They are committed to this. ‘There are probably always going to be problems.’ That sort of thing. In the normal mode of government contracting. I’m talking about six or seven people. and not study a problem to death. you can’t do it on your own. get on with it. and then by definition we’ll succeed and we’ll meet our financial targets. “We’ve got so many smart people in this business who can’t bring themselves to make decisions because they’re afraid of failing.’ “During our open discussions. take risks. I knew every one of them. I selected people who could make swift decisions if that’s what was required.146 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent us in every way possible.’ I said.’” Ultimately. These were people willing to make decisions. And that’s what they did. ‘What does it say on paper?’ Not us.” “But.’ ‘I’ve got to write a report for these guys. most of Chuck’s team members had faith in him as a leader. so let’s try to work through it. proving themselves time and time again. if it didn’t work out—and I did my best to make it clear that I knew we were doing the right thing. concurs: “All programs have problems. That’s why I made sure to surround myself with a team of effective leaders. members of my team brought up examples of how the government wasn’t living up to their end of the deal: ‘I still have to do this. and the ones who did not “get it” were eliminated from the team: “I was the one whose job was on the line if we screwed up. The first thing we did was . the contracting officer for Raytheon. all hand-selected by me. ‘but we’ve got to have faith in the leadership there. everybody runs to the contract and says.” Tom Gillman.
We ended up spending a couple of million dollars to fix 5. they decided that it was the right thing to do to see if they could figure out what was happening.000. but instead. Contractually. The average unit procurement cost for the program decreased from more than $750. What the government tried to instill in us was that same kind of pride in our work. I used to say that it was like buying a Sony TV. Because of their quality control system. We could have hidden behind the specifications. given our resources.000 missiles that weren’t under warranty. “When people asked me about the impact of TSPR. they were not required to resolve that one percent. 147 ask what the best thing was for the war fighter. but it was the right thing to do for the war fighter. “We locked some engineers in the lab for six months and had them duplicate that failure. the AMRAAM program received the DOD Life Cycle Cost Reduction Award. They determined that with a simple modification of the missile.000 to under $400. and that typifies what this kind of business relationship can offer. we could eliminate it. then we decided on the best way to solve the problem. on a particular piece of missile hardware that had to work only 90 percent of the time. Once we determined that. Nobody paid us to do the extra work.” In the end. saving the Air Force and Navy $150 million over the course of four years.” Tom recounts a story of how his people were doing just that: “For example. it was determined that failure occurred less than one percent of the time. They say that Sony technicians never turn the televisions on when they put them together. . they know that they’re going to work.
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then Israel will initiate the unilateral security step of disengagement from the Palestinians..... a relocation—of settlements that cause us problems and of places that we will not hold on to anyway in a final settlement. when he announced: “.. 2003.. 2004.” 149 .. Sharon clarified that the disengagement would primarily be from the Gaza Strip: “It is my intention to carry out an evacuation—sorry. and Dora Cohenca-Zall The Turbulent Birth of the Unilateral Disengagement Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon shocked the entire political spectrum on December 18.. Zvi Ziklik.if in a few months the Palestinians still continue to disregard their part in implementing the Road Map..” Then. This reduction of friction will require the extremely difficult step of changing the deployment of some of the settlements. which will reduce as much as possible the number of Israelis located in the heart of the Palestinian population.6 A Peaceful Evacuation: Building a Multi-Project Battalion by Leading Upward by Alexander Laufer. on February 3.. like the Gaza settlements. a change in the deployment of settlements. The Disengagement Plan will include.
In the end. which was held on May 2. which he described as being “no different from Tel Aviv. However. leaving the government with a minority in the Parliament. he and his government largely ignored the results and approved an amended disengagement plan on June 6. 2004. and a limited relocation of four settlements in northern Samaria. Failing to gain the support of several senior ministers. The plan that the cabinet approved called for a complete disengagement from the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. He had been elected on the mandate to protect the settlements. two additional ministers resigned. The plan was approved with a 14–7 majority. However. outraged and alienated many of his right-wing nationalist supporters. but only after two ministers were dismissed from the cabinet. more than 60 percent of the voters cast their ballot against the disengagement plan. which forced Sharon to later establish a National Unity government. Consequent to passing the plan. Sharon agreed that his party would hold a referendum on the plan in advance of a vote by the Israeli Cabinet. Sharon announced that he accepted the referendum results and would take time to consider his steps. who was one of the settlement movement’s staunchest allies. on July 25. For example. Most polls showed approximately 55 percent of party members supporting the plan before the referendum.” He applauded the strategic value of Jewish communities such as Netzarim in the Gaza area. Polls consistently showed support for the plan in the 55–60 percent range and opposition running around 30–35 percent. while eliciting startled disbelief from his left-wing opponents in Israel.” a . 2004. the people who opposed the plan were much more active in voicing their opinion. declaring that “the fate of Netzarim is the fate of Jerusalem. including the relocation of all 21 Jewish settlements there. 2004. Opponents of the plan and some other ministers called on Sharon to hold a national referendum in order to prove that he had a mandate. which he refused to do. the “Human Chain.150 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent Sharon.” The disengagement plan was indeed divisive.
about 100. and number of family members. The traumatic evacuation of Israeli settlements from Sinai 25 years earlier.000 people. A couple of months later. as agreed upon in the peace treaty with Egypt. when the evacuation was carried out as part of a peace treaty and most of the . would be met with strong resistance. is remembered as one of the most sensitive and divisive events in the history of Israel. the Israeli cabinet approved a plan to compensate settlers for leaving the Gaza Strip. The protestors formed a human chain over a distance of 90 km. 151 rally of close to 100. The total cost of the compensation package.000 settlers was about $870 million. Even then. and in particular the evacuation of the city of Yamit. which was part of a unilateral withdrawal without any peace treaty. as approved by the Parliament. most of whom were affiliated with right-wing parties. 2005. The compensation plan used a formula based on location. house size. for the 8. In June. at the opening of the Parliament winter session. joined forces to protest against the plan and demand a national referendum. and which involved 8. Sharon outlined his plan to start legislation for the disengagement process at the beginning of November. from the Gaza Strip to the Western Wall in Jerusalem.000 people marched in cities throughout Israel to protest the plan under the slogan “100 cities support the settlements in the Gaza Strip. On October 11. the Parliament rejected a bill to delay the implementation of the disengagement plan on March 28.000 settlers. among other factors.” On September 14. After several rounds of votes and ensuing upheaval in the government over the following six months. the Israeli High Court of Justice rejected the appeal of the settlers against the government. The Systematic Preparations of the Israeli Defense Forces It was widely expected that the evacuation from the Gaza Strip.
the Israeli Parliament formally approved the government’s decision. the government decided that the IDF would be responsible for the evacuation with assistance from the police. Unfortunately. The evacuation from the Gaza Strip was sure to be even more traumatic. head of the Southern Command. and facilitating the transfer of compensation packages.152 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent settlers were willing to leave peacefully. In late October 2004. the chief psychologist of the Southern . not to evacuate citizens from their homes. a violent confrontation still took place between a small minority of the settlers and the soldiers who were sent to evacuate them. At the beginning. He invited Lieutenant Colonel Daniel. including the operational implications for the day after. was put in charge of the mission. Eventually. the IDF was worried that the lack of public consensus would not only render the accomplishment of this mission more difficult but might eventually affect its ability to carry out its normal tasks. a parallel civil administrative body was established and tasked with developing both temporary and permanent accommodations for the evacuees while maintaining their community structure. At the same time. The IDF claimed that its forces were trained to protect the country from its enemies. He formed a small think tank that began examining the meaning of the decision. the majority of the settlers was firm in the belief that the evacuation would not take place and thus for a long time refused to interact with this new organization. despite the government’s declaration of the evacuation as a national mission. Also. finding and developing new employment opportunities for them. The police leadership was simply worried that it lacked sufficient manpower to carry it out. Major General Dan Harel. both of which were reluctant to take responsibility for the mission. providing psychological assistance to adults and youths. it was unclear whether the evacuation would be carried out by the police or the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).
I coined the clear and catchy slogan ‘with determination and sensitivity.” . and it became clear that they were not suitable models for the current project. over-determination can lead to uncontrolled exertion of force. which had been the largest Israeli settlement in Sinai. Daniel gathered together the IDF’s psychologists one day in November 2004 for a “day of thinking together. telling him: “You psychologists have a rare opportunity this time to take front stage and professionally lead a complex military operation. On the other hand. as well as the day after. 153 Command. would be minimal. The key question identified during the meeting was how to execute the mission according to the government’s guidelines while ensuring that the damage incurred during the evacuation itself.” In that spirit. it turned out that no preliminary preparations for the evacuations had been carried out. In both cases. to join his small think tank. On the one hand.” Daniel conducted searches to locate relevant information on the topic of evacuation to learn from the experience of the past. The two sources that seemed to be most relevant were the evacuation of the French civilian settlements from Algiers in the 1950s and the evacuation of the city of Yamit. As Daniel commented. Our success will be measured by the ability to help people find the correct balance between determination and sensitivity. Following the assembly. we were concerned that the emotional burden on the soldiers would be too heavy. over-sensitivity might land the soldiers in situations in which they are not able to exert force at all. “We were forced to act upon our own healthy intuition. Daniel recalls: “Due to the complex situation.” with the objective of expressing and listening to their different opinions about the potential problems expected in the evacuation project—an attempt to batten down the hatches.’ which became the vision of the entire disengagement.
The first circle was designated to be inside the settlement responsible for the evacuation. After several weeks of deliberating between several alternatives. The plan called for the IDF and the Israeli police to amass a force of about 42. concentrating a large force of soldiers opposite the evacuees might weaken their will and ability to resist. The 55.000 troops on the ground plus a backup force of 13. for stopping . which constituted a critical tier in building the individual’s strength as part of the whole. finding that often the greatest concerns were not about the anticipated intensity of the settlers’ physical resistance. The other five circles would be responsible for supporting the first circle. and following the meeting Daniel distributed a document to the various military entities summarizing the critical aspects of the disengagement project from the psychologists’ point of view.000 soldiers would be divided into six circles. The IDF’s psychology group continued with preparations for the various scenarios. Daniel gave a good analysis of the problem from the military perspective: “It seemed to us that it was very important to reinforce the mental capacity of the evacuators.154 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent Many other key issues were identified during the meeting. On the other hand. was to use large concentrated masses of soldiers as an effective means of psychological warfare.” On the one hand.000. the IDF operational plans attempted to amass a huge force. we found that the most appropriate solution. The next step involved the establishment of a team of leading psychologists who would help the commanding officers of the various units to combine the operational aspects of the disengagement project with its “softer” aspects. a larger group of evacuating soldiers might minimize the probability of individual deviations on the part of the soldiers. Thus. from the perspectives of both the evacuees and the evacuators. but rather about the soldiers’ ability to withstand heart-rending scenarios that might affect them emotionally and thus compromise their performance. each of which would have a different function.
but also soldiers and commanders from rear units and various staff entities. they would simply be outnumbered by the female population among the settlers. Thus. especially regarding evacuating mothers and their children. Second. it was expected that most participants would be rather young and therefore possibly more fragile. Various . but not to use violence against them. The IDF recognized that the task of the female soldiers was likely to be more challenging than that of the men. as a result of this decision. often through workshops that prepared the evacuators through practice and at the same time served as a lab for the psychologists. Due to the need to concentrate so many troops. The female soldiers would also have to cope with various unique requirements. It was thus clear to the IDF that an additional effort must be invested in the preparation of the female soldiers. In these workshops. The soldiers operating inside the settlements. It was decided that women would be evacuated only by female soldiers or policewomen. they would be allowed to remove the people physically. and for responding to Palestinian terrorist activities should they occur during the disengagement. the army decided that not only combat units would take part in the evacuation. who would be performing the most difficult task of evacuating the settlers. First. the participants were trained to evacuate children and families from their homes and to cope with the possibility of evacuation under fire and violence on the part of the settlers. 155 protestors from disrupting the process. because it was decided that female soldiers who had children would not take part in the evacuation. the group of psychologists continued in their efforts to expand and refine the guidelines for the evacuation. During the first months of 2005. For example. it was strictly forbidden for the female soldiers to separate the children from their mother in such a way that the mother would not see her children or that the children would not see their mother. so the increased presence of women in the evacuation force was required. would be unarmed and under strict orders not to use violence unless violence was used against them.
According to the plan developed by the . and each platoon was composed of two squads. His battalion would be one of the three battalions of the Air Force’s Blue Brigade. On May 10. which were in turn comprised of three battalions each. he got to work immediately. each one hosting a large variety of units. was summoned by his commanding officer and asked whether he wanted to volunteer for the evacuation operation as the commander of a battalion. When Yaron learned that he would have to build his battalion from scratch. Each evacuating company included four platoons. each made up of two brigades. At the time. and role playing in which the participants played both the evacuators and the evacuees was performed. He also learned that the forces designed to take part in the evacuation would be composed of two divisions. including 3 evacuating companies and 1 company serving the day-to-day needs of the battalion. who perceived it as a personal challenge. a Lieutenant Colonel in the Israeli Air Force. The battalion would eventually be composed of 700 people. immediately responded favorably and one week later was informed that the Air Force Commander had approved his appointment. Yaron. It was found that playing the role of the evacuees was effective in helping them to exhibit greater sensitivity and better embrace the required new culture “with determination and sensitivity. Yaron led a design engineering unit in the Air Force. the Brigade Commander convened a forum where Yaron first learned that his manpower would be coming from three very large Air Force dispatching bases. though earlier in his career he served as a deputy battalion commander in the Paratroopers.” The Fight for the Makeup of the Battalion It was late April 2005 when Yaron.156 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent scenarios that were expected to take place during the evacuation were practiced.
it was assumed. we would be able to prepare the new battalions without encountering too many difficulties or surprises. The difficulties and surprises. platoons. 12 male soldiers. and so on. Although the process of placing people at the different levels of the battalion (squads. One of those officers did not like what he heard. Yaron encouraged the battalion’s company commanders to initiate ongoing meetings with their soldiers. and 1 policeman. pilots. Second. he was invited to give a presentation about the mission to the officers of the Blue Brigade. Yaron describes the commonly held assumptions by the top commanders of the Blue Brigade regarding their mission: “First. Unfortunately. mechanics. it was assumed that while our task as evacuators might be difficult. it was assumed that by following the training and operational guidelines prepared by the Southern Command and its psychologists. and companies) was being implemented. to approach each house and evacuate its inhabitants. The battalion staff included officers and senior NCOs from a variety of Air Force positions: staff personnel. the upcoming events forced me to rethink the validity of each of these three assumptions. would emerge only once the evacuation had been started.” The first surprise encountered by Yaron was that of the behavior among some top officers in the Air Force. one of . 4 female soldiers. engineers. 2005. composed of a commander. it would be the responsibility of the individual squad. Third. On May 17. Because they all continued to serve in their dispatching units in their original capacities. these meetings took place twice a week in various formats whenever the soldiers had time off from their ongoing activities. anti-aircraft personnel. so he reacted by sending a lengthy email to a Brigadier General. all of the hard decisions had already been made by the government and the IDF Southern Command. it was assumed that our only task leading up to the actual evacuation was to build and prepare the three new battalions. 157 IDF.
through face-to-face meetings. complaining about Yaron’s choice of words and overall attitude to the evacuation mission. telephone calls.158 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent the top leaders in the Air Force.” claiming that “it might be deduced that the expulsion of Jews from their homes has become a highly valued mission. Although he found that a few of them acted the way he expected by identifying the most suitable people and encouraging them to volunteer. as can be deduced from the battalion commander’s words. but a constraint due to a shortage of police troops. who were mostly colonels. Yaron made immediate inquiries with the commanders of the dispatching units. Among other things. . soon enough Yaron was surprised by the behavior of other top officers in the Air Force. Still. the officer said: “The fact that we are IDF officers in the first circle is not a source of pride.” He also rejected the statement that the evacuation is a “highly valued mission.’ yet here I was not being sensitive enough. Most importantly. and email communications. I began to realize the complexity of the mission and the way in which the message that I am trying to impart might be misunderstood because of the listener’s perception. was not interested in understanding my point of view. either because they were not convinced that the evacuation was a crucial mission or simply because they did not want to detract from their ongoing operations by spending energy on it. we are expecting our soldiers to be ‘determined and sensitive. Yaron found that the quality and motivation of certain staff being assigned to the mission fell far short of meeting his needs.” Unfortunately.” Yaron was shocked by the email message: “I was convinced that my lecture was very appropriate and the feedback I received directly following the meeting was very positive. this time the commanders of the dispatching units. primarily because of the poor selection process adopted by some of the dispatchers. the majority did not do so. and it caused me to start reflecting on the commitment of some of my superiors. who conveyed the message to me. I was disturbed by the fact that the Brigadier general.
to conclude: “The more I understood the task and the more familiar I became with the people who were put at my disposal. and they invested a great deal of energy in attempts to be relieved from duty. most did not. I kept asking myself how I could execute the mission with career soldiers who lacked suitable motivation and skills. Yaron then approached the commanders of the dispatching units demanding more qualified people.” During that meeting. 159 Major David. the Brigadier general gave Yaron his personal cell phone number and his permission to call . so Yaron requested an immediate meeting with a Brigadier general and reported to him that: “Without the personal involvement and commitment to the mission on the part of the commanders of the dispatching units. one of the company commanders recruited to the battalion. who served as one of the squad leaders in the battalion. It was not uncommon to hear ‘Why me?’ ‘What am I doing here?’ ‘How can I get out of this?’” Likewise. it did not take long for Major Ilan. The ‘fish in the net’ syndrome very aptly describes their situation. He asked his company commanders and platoon commanders to immediately identify those people who were unsuitable for the mission and act to have them removed from the battalion. we have no chance of succeeding. who were chosen largely by drawing lots or by the commanders’ arbitrary decisions. did not want to participate in the evacuation mission.” Yaron concluded that training the soldiers who he had on hand would not be enough for a successful mission and decided that he must first make an effort to persuade the commanders of the dispatching units to send him their most suitable recruits. the more concerned I became about the company’s ability to execute this problematic mission. describes the process of allocating soldiers as random and unstructured: “Though some of the soldiers volunteered for the mission. Only in a small proportion of cases was the process defined according to any criteria. Most of the soldiers. The responses were disappointing.
how to treat people who are eating their last breakfast at home.” One of the platoon meetings included an exercise in which each soldier was asked to describe the most serious event that he thought might take place during the evacuation. and the battalion was able to replace many of the unsuitable soldiers.160 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent him whenever Yaron saw fit. Yaron’s reaction was that: “I finally felt direct openness and communication between the senior commander and his subordinates. First Lieutenant Benjamin. It was a very good feeling.” The next day. using training kits and teams of instructors to boost the knowledge and self-confidence of both the troops and the commanders. While attempting to change the composition of the manpower of his battalion by managing his superiors. “This discussion contributed to the coordination of expectations in the platoon. how to separate a mother from her infant son. who served as a squad leader in Major Ilan’s company. describes some of the preparations being made by the company: “We are practicing a great variety of situations—how to remove a crying child from a house. We are trying to formulate prepared responses but are heading toward the unknown. This time the response from the dispatching units was more favorable. The other soldiers were asked to respond to the speaker and to assess the probability that his concerns would come true. the Brigadier general sent an important email message to the Air Force’s senior commanders in which he instructed them to give the battalion’s tasks “priority and total preference over any other task required by any other entity. The officers continued with practice simulations of possible evacuation scenarios. knowing there will be things that we will have to deal with in the field. Yaron and his commanders were also focusing on all the routine operations required to prepare the new battalion.” The impact of this email was quite significant. According to Major David. Each .
The objective of the tour was to become more closely acquainted with the settlement. At some stage. and the other one was Arik Harpaz. The event’s primary objective was to introduce the soldiers to the battalion’s various commanders and functions. the father revealed a gun that was tucked in his belt and said. All of these contributed to raising the morale and fostering a sense of belonging among the battalion’s commanders. I prefer to give up my private gun for fear that I will do something foolish. During the tour. On May 31. A few days later. 161 person had to open up and speak freely about his fears and concerns. 2005. I cannot understand how you are willing as IDF soldiers to evict Jews from their land. As Yaron describes: “During the tour. all of the battalion’s soldiers and commanders gathered for the first time at a resort in Ashkelon for a special event: the formal establishment of the battalion. and meetings in an open and free atmosphere where everyone was invited to listen and voice their thoughts and opinions.” The battalion’s group of commanders gradually came together through joint dinners. One introduced himself as the settlement’s security coordinator. but to no avail.’” Yaron tried to communicate with him. the company commanders conducted a preliminary tour in the Elei Sinai area. He seemed angry and emotional and refused to shake my hand: ‘I am not willing to shake the hand of an enemy who is coming to evict me from land that is saturated with Liron’s blood and from her room that is full of memories. which was assigned to the battalion for evacuation. a surprising encounter took place between the battalion’s commanders and two of the settlers. “I don’t know how I will act during the evacuation. which constituted another step in the internalization process. tours of the Gaza Strip settlements to familiarize themselves with the arena. two scowling settlers approached us. the father of a girl who had been murdered by terrorists along with her friend two years earlier in the settlement.” .
and at the same time. In each house. It is nearly . at each door. Yet. When the evacuating troops come to us. Suddenly I understood it all. my people may find an ‘Arik’—someone who does not want to raise a hand against a soldier. behind each door. someone who might use his gun if he perceives the soldiers as being too enthusiastic. two seemingly contradictory comments that Arik made just before they parted were cause for concern.” Yaron recalls: “This was the first time I fully understood the meaning of ‘with determination and sensitivity. Such soldiers must not be here. there will not be any misunderstanding. my family and I will hold a ceremony at Liron’s memorial following which we will quietly evacuate the settlement. the men shook hands with a feeling that there was a place for some hope. It struck me like a lightning bolt. Only following the encounter with Arik did I really comprehend its meaning for us.’ even though I’ve used the term countless times during the last month. At the end of this emotional meeting. The leader of the squad is the only person who can ensure that at each encounter.162 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent The icy conversation “defrosted” a bit when Yaron and Arik shared memories from their military past and together visited the memorial that Arik had erected at the site of his daughter’s and her friend’s murder.. I understand that you received an order to evacuate. there will be violence.. I expect you not to bring soldiers here who come to this mission with joy and enthusiasm. otherwise. Most importantly. We will never raise a hand against soldiers. and that the squad will be able to cope in the event that there is such a misunderstanding.. I realized how difficult it is to train people to exhibit this behavior in the kind of chaotic situations that we were anticipating.” His second comment was: “I want you to tell your soldiers that we are not the enemy.. His first comment was: “I admit that the political level ‘duped’ us by sending the army rather than the police.
I realized that although everybody views me as the commander of a battalion. at the current stage. and experience. Yaron finally felt satisfied with the makeup of his battalion and was ready to focus on the training. the squad leaders. Yaron immediately started focusing on recruiting the best possible junior commanders. but not with squad leaders of average quality: “For my battalion. Toward the end of June 2005. Yet. training. the first responses from the top commanders were disappointing. One more time. . I would be functioning primarily as the head of a multi-project organization during the evacuation itself. Yaron persisted and was eventually able to communicate directly with the Air Force Commander. this time asking to replace many of the senior NCOs who currently headed his squads with experienced officers. I have 24 squads in my battalion.” Given that anticipated role. and to get his complete support for his request. and he asked for Captains and preferably Majors. Each one of these squad leaders should be capable of functioning like an independent project manager for each new house they are about to evacuate. 163 impossible to develop the capability for such balanced behavior in two months or even in two years. about six weeks after the May 10 meeting with the Commander of the Blue Brigade. you simply need people with proven leadership capabilities whose skills and attitudes have been developed through a lengthy process of selection.” Yaron explained that he could have a successful operation with soldiers of average quality. They should be able to quickly ‘read’ each new situation and demonstrate the appropriate response to accommodate both the evacuees in front of them and their own squad behind them. He started another campaign. the key to achieving a peaceful evacuation is the leaders of the squads. For these situations. and the success of the evacuation is dependent on the quality of the leadership of each one. a Major general.
because most soldiers continued with their regular activities at their dispatching bases. and food supply will be appropriate. At that point.164 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent The Speedy Implementation of the Evacuation The training. At the end of the exercise. A film was shown. six weeks before the evacuation date. the first exercise of the entire battalion took place. Prior to the onset of the evacuation. he was a member of the planning team. he was the facilitator of planning and training. their clothing. for some of the Air Force commanders of the dispatching units. an R&R day was organized for all of the battalion’s soldiers. the battalion commanders and their spouses gathered at Yaron’s house for an evening of acquaintance and team-building. the squads switched roles. On July 1. whereas for the settlers. on whom he was now dependent for the supplies. he was the chief supplier. which documented the moving encounter with Arik Harpaz. he was the government. For his superiors in the Blue Brigade. the soldiers had to cope with a string of demonstrations. was conducted only twice a week. The objectives of the training were to enhance acquaintance and team-building. Yaron gave the participants a formal letter of appointment to the battalion and a book with a personal inscription. as well as to hold lectures and simulations on negotiations and communications. Every half an hour. The soldiers were divided up into squads. which took place primarily according to platoons or squads. for the commanders in his battalion. This time the demonstrations had . boots. On June 28. he was the persistent nagger. field accommodations. Yaron found himself attempting to fulfill a variety of roles. All soldiers and commanders were scheduled to leave their dispatching bases on July 25 for six weeks. making sure that when they arrive in late July. for his soldiers (who are not used to field conditions). Two days later. with one squad simulating the evacuators and the other playing the role of the evacuees.
eating.. We were surprised. All of the troops were supposed to remain in the field without leave throughout the whole exercise. on July 19.. since we were prepared for evacuating people from homes and not for blocking demonstrations. sleeping. the tense standoff continued. and most importantly. and we called this phenomenon ‘the kingdom of uncertainty. after which the protesters finally left. as one of them describes it: “They called us from home. No violence erupted over the course of those three days.. The first and the most crucial event took place in the small Israeli village of Kfar Maimon.” Another soldier reported: “The platoon commander briefed us and announced that we were part of the ‘sixth circle.000 protesters from penetrating into the Gaza Strip. all of the brigade soldiers were taken for a concentrated training exercise that was defined as the final training in preparation for the onset of the disengagement operation. About 20. it was hot and we were not used to the improvised hygiene conditions in the field. we did not fully understand our task until it was over..000 Israeli soldiers and police troops formed a massive human wall to prevent the 40. For three days. 2005. when we did not expect it. The exercise was planned to last three weeks and was supposed to simulate the entire course of the evacuation itself.’” On July 27. without any early warning.. which was also scheduled to last three weeks.’ We were not familiar with this terminology. sitting. I had grown accustomed in recent days to tasks that were unclear until the moment of their execution. just outside the Gaza Strip. .. just standing. but it was tough for most of the soldiers. and in any case we did not know what it was about. 165 a very clear operational aim: to stop the disengagement by getting tens of thousands of people into the settlements to make it impossible to remove the settlers. we were not prepared to cope with the mundane difficulties of this task.
the breaching of houses in which settlers are holed up. IDF officers helped the settlers who chose to evacuate by packing their belongings and carrying them. The voluntary evacuation continued after midnight on August 17 for settlers who requested a time extension to pack their belongings. Although the Gaza Strip had been officially closed to nonresidents since July 13. The operation turned out to be successful. the battalion was rushed to yet another demonstration. The IDF decided to postpone the compulsory evacuation by two days and to carry out an interim operation (code name “giving brothers a hand”) whose objective was to convince the settlers to evacuate their homes voluntarily. and although the IDF and the police were largely successful in blocking the attempts to get through. provided they received a formal request from the State. with lectures by legal experts. negotiations with evacuees. psychologists. messages reached the IDF that some families in the Gaza Strip were willing to be evacuated from their homes voluntarily. and sociologists. and the encircling of areas using a closed human chain. some of the evacuated settlers called the commanders who had participated in the evacuation and thanked them for the sensitivity that had accompanied the process. Following the failed attempt to flood the settlements with tens of thousands of people through the Kfar Maimon demonstration. Yaron’s battalion was rushed to a demonstration similar to that of Kfar Maimon but smaller in scope. On August 3. such as the abduction of soldiers by settlers. Daily seminars were held in the field on various issues. there were an estimated several thousand youth who were able to infiltrate into the Gaza Strip prior to and following the closure.166 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent The commanders of the platoons and the squads practiced behaviors under harsh conditions and various scenarios. The battalion was deployed along the roads as a living chain together with police and border police troops. The troops also watched professional actors perform simulations of different evacuation scenarios after having received professional guidance from negotiation experts. . Afterward. On the next day.
Despite the peaceful nature of the voluntary evacuation, Yaron still had his doubts about what was to come: “Following the success of the voluntary evacuation, some people thought that the rest of the evacuation would also be very smooth. I was not so confident. I could not easily dismiss other possible outcomes. A few days earlier, I had met with the Deputy Commander of my Brigade, a Colonel who had been in charge of the evacuation of settlers from the Gilad Farm, an unauthorized outpost in the West Bank, several years ago. He described the thorough preparations that his troops had undergone, the difficulties they had encountered, and the lessons he had learned. I was fully aware that in the Gilad Farm case, the settlers had been ready to fight, violently if necessary. Yet, I could not forget the numbers. During the first day of the operation, there were already 140 wounded soldiers, none very seriously, but nevertheless wounded. Although my battalion was not going to face unauthorized settlements, we had no idea how many of the illegal infiltrators might have come from places like the Gilad Farm. We could not forget that what we saw as an evacuation, the residents of the settlements saw as an expulsion. Thus, I made all my commanders aware of the need to stay vigilant.” The day of the onset of the forced evacuation finally arrived on August 17. The entire country was tense. The radio and TV news broadcasts went live, and media representatives from Israel and abroad were everywhere. Major David recalls: “It was a heavy feeling of responsibility—an entire nation had its eyes on us. The words of one of the settlers especially became engraved in my head: ‘everyone, evacuators and evacuees, must leave here with a scar so that we never forget what happened here.’ At the beginning, I felt that this attitude was in sharp contrast to our approach that no one should leave even with a small scratch. But then I realized that we were focusing only on the
Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent
immediate physical damage, while the settler was referring to the long-term psychological consequences. Now I believe that we were both right.” Yaron recounts: “We began passing between the houses, listening to families... the settlement was in a state of great sadness, families sat on the ground like in mourning and wept. The scene was not easy, but we tried to exhibit a lot of patience. I went around monitoring closely a few of the more difficult cases throughout the day and felt very proud of my people. I felt that the squad and platoon leaders were well prepared and really did not need my intervention.” The first day of evacuation went by quite peacefully. At the end of the day, all of the settlers gathered in the settlement’s synagogue for one last prayer. It was a difficult sight, with evacuators and evacuees crying bitterly as one. The national hymn closed the ceremony, and everyone boarded the buses in an orderly fashion. Last-minute searches were performed before leaving the settlement. At the end of each day, Yaron met with his commanders for a debriefing session to discuss the difficulties they had encountered during the day and the solutions they had implemented, to draw conclusions, and to prepare for the next day. Overall, it was widely agreed upon that they were meeting with less violence than expected. Although most residents had eventually agreed to be escorted out by the soldiers, there were some cases in which the troops had to enter the houses and carry out the family members one by one, four soldiers to a person at times, with the settlers screaming and sobbing. The overall sequence by which the settlements were evacuated was based on the “small wins” principle, according to which the IDF progressed from the easy targets to the difficult ones. In a few settlements, outside Yaron’s “jurisdiction,” the infiltrators clashed violently
with the soldiers. The worst confrontation took place on the roof of the Kefar Darom synagogue. After hours of talks, police officers were hoisted by crane onto the roof, where they were attacked by dozens of youths. About a dozen policemen had to be hospitalized after acid was thrown at them. Police arrested dozens of teenagers. On August 22, the last settlement, Netzarim, was evacuated. This officially marked the end of the 35-year-long presence of Israeli settlers in the Gaza Strip. The evacuation of the settlement was successfully accomplished within one week instead of the allocated three weeks. Yaron’s superiors, both at the brigade and the division levels, were pleased with the performance of his battalion. Yaron recounts a moving moment: “On the last day of our mission, we arrived at Elei Sinai to evacuate the last settlement. I went to Arik Harpaz’s home. The stone from his daughter’s memorial and the olive tree planted alongside it had spent the last few days in Arik’s trailer, waiting to leave Gaza with him at any moment. Arik hugged me and commended us on the way we had acted in his personal case. I realized then that throughout the last several months, I had been preoccupied with the important role of leadership on our side—leadership at the national, Air Force, battalion, and squad levels. I had completely missed the crucial role of the leadership of the settlers. We had fought a tactical war: the evacuation of the settlers from the Gaza Strip. The IDF is stronger, and so we won the war. However, at the same time, we had been fighting a more difficult war and a more important, strategic one: making sure that the evacuation would be completed peacefully so that as a nation, we would emerge from it stronger. In this war, we both won.”
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Exploring Space: Shaping Culture by Exploiting Location
by Alexander Laufer, Edward Hoffman, and Don Cohen
“Good Enough” Is Good Enough
The core science group that proposed the NASA Advanced Composition Explorer mission, or ACE, had worked together on other NASA missions and had even built instruments together. Two members of the group were from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), and they were quite experienced building the type of spacecraft that they thought they needed, so the group proposed using a spacecraft built by APL. The initial unsolicited proposal of the group was not accepted, but it raised their visibility. When an opportunity came along to propose a new mission five years later, they proposed ACE as an Explorer-class mission to be run out of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Patience paid off, and in 1991 their proposal was selected for funding. Dr. Edward Stone, principal investigator at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), recalls: “When it came down to who would be the leader of our group, all eyes fell on me. I was the Project Scientist on Voyager, a high-profile NASA mission, and I was considered a known quantity by the Agency. People knew how I did things and how I managed science. They also knew that Voyager had been going well.”
we looked at our budget and it looked as though we were going to exceed our total resources by $22 million. we always kept the appointment. Don describes how they addressed this problem: “Dr.” The greatest uncertainty on a science mission is in the development of the instruments. he could be on it right away. Even if it was just to say that the weather was nice in California and there was nothing much happening here at Goddard. and of the nine on ACE. five were new. In the early stages of the project.500 miles.” Don describes his dilemma: “I had the choice of spreading the money among all the players or focusing on the elements that posed the greatest risks on the project. You might say the spacecraft itself was about the only thing not in the air. I thought it was crucial to the success of the project that Dr. and the challenge on ACE was working with 20 different science institutions spread out across the United States and parts of Europe. To do this.” Don Margolies found very early that he had to address the money issue: “Before we had been confirmed. Stone and I set up a schedule to talk with each other on the phone every week. which was not a popular decision.172 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent The group has grown. Even the distance between the two primary players—Dr. Don describes the risk involved in his decision: . much of what was about to unfold was still up in the air. I responded by putting the bulk of the money into trying to identify the key risks in the development of the science instruments and mitigating these to the best extent that we could at the earliest stage possible. The word came back from NASA Headquarters that they wouldn’t allow us to continue with that kind of overrun. I had to hold back spacecraft development at APL. the project manager from Goddard Space Flight Center—was more than 2. and APL did not like it at all. Stone know everything that was going on—and if something happened that involved the development of the instruments. Stone and Don Margolies.
The way to seal the agreement was to assure them that we were able to control the program and not run over cost. You’re never right 100 percent of the time. and as it turned out. and how much each would save. Once you meet the requirements. and if one mission sucked up most of the funding. the other projects would have to work with what was left. The only way to do that was to say what we would do if we got in trouble. who was in favor of having a de-scope plan: “I knew that if we were going to get the . Stone.” So Don asked everyone to identify what his or her de-scopes would be if necessary. I wanted Headquarters to make a commitment to us in writing that they would give us stable funding. I knew I could be shooting myself in the foot if they were not able to recover. APL would be able to catch up.Chapter 7 • exploring SpaCe: Shaping Culture by exploiting loCation 173 “In holding APL back by three to six months. spend no additional money to make it better. and testing—were forced to go back and ask themselves. and if so. Thus. Still. Set your requirements and stick to those requirements. how much?” Don explains his rationale for the de-scoping: “ACE was part of the Explorer program. Experience counted for a lot here. you have to go with your judgment. and at the time.” Don discussed the whole thing with Dr. Don understood that money issues still had to be addressed in a more comprehensive and profound way: “What I set out to do was to establish a mutual agreement with everyone that ‘good enough’ is good enough. they were able to catch up. “How much can I save if I take out a circuit board? Will I lose any performance by doing that. But I believed that even with a slow start. integration. spacecraft.” However. Scientists in every area—instruments. the Explorer program budget was one big pot of money. ground operation. when each would have to be taken. We were willing to commit to a fixed price if they would guarantee stable funding.
’ That’s fine. Class-A missions were on the order of the Space Shuttle. . Class-C missions were less expensive to begin with. Stone gave Don his total support: “Some of the scientists felt that we should not have to make any compromises on requirements. we looked at each and every instrument and its capability. We said: ‘All right.174 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent scientists to buy-in on ‘stopping at good enough.” Dr. Class-B missions had a slightly lower profile. if you can afford anything you want. what would be the impact if any single instrument failed? Is there another instrument that can provide similar data? What if two of them failed in different combinations?’ Realizing the amount of redundancy we had. enough power. and risk was a little more acceptable. such as small satellite rockets. NASA classified missions in terms of A. because then you can say.” ACE was classified as a C mission. where failure would mean a national catastrophe. I dare say ACE would have been a much different project.” Don describes how the de-scope plan was carried out: “As we were defining the de-scopes on the payload side. starting from scratch. Scientists prefer to draw a large circle around their requirements because they know somewhere in there is what they need. enough whatever. and it is easiest just to draw the circle large—meaning enough mass.’ it had to be Stone who sold it to them. it looked to me like we could tolerate some failures in the payload and still have a successful mission. and even higher risk could be afforded. ‘I know that’s going to do it. which was all about the level of risk involved. but it’s probably not the way to optimize the mission. Without his help. and D. and we found considerable overlap in terms of the capability of many instruments. C. B. and we probably would not have been confirmed. so everything was done in order to make it 100 percent reliable. Class-D missions were reliable and cheap projects.
and Headquarters was willing to guarantee stable funding. ‘but I strive for it. that seemed to startle him. the first descriptive term that comes to mind is the word tranquility. Nurturing the Culture of Location In the meantime.” Headquarters agreed.’ Ironically enough.Chapter 7 • exploring SpaCe: Shaping Culture by exploiting loCation 175 With all the redundancy in our instrument suite. Stone said. I started to think that maybe we could get away with dual-classifying ourselves. Could we go to a lower level of reliability testing. for example. it made sense to dual-classify ourselves. ‘Have you ever reached this state?’ ‘No. Stone selected Allan Frandsen to serve as the payload manager. we were able to commit to a fixed price. ‘Well. Most importantly. So I added. Allan recalls his first meeting with Dr. If we could get away with flying a set of Class-D instruments. at the California Institute of Technology.’ He then asked. I thought about it for a few seconds and then answered. give me an idea of your management style. and still meet the ultimate mission requirements? We determined that the answer was “yes.’ I admitted. ‘I guess what I mean is that if the situation is tranquil and the project is running smoothly. on the other side of the continent. Dr.’ It was a question that I had not considered before. this would simplify our job tremendously. They looked at all the redundancy and said. then I’ve anticipated all the problems and taken necessary actions to head them off. Dr.” You may fly a ClassD instrument suite on this Class-C spacecraft. ‘Al. Stone: “During my interview when I was applying for the job of payload manager on ACE. “Yes.’ .
So it is well worth the effort up front to carve out the time and generate the enthusiasm to build a good team.. but in running a project.” Another crucial ingredient for project success is identifying and recruiting the best people to do the job..” .176 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent Tranquility is probably an overstatement. as well as being less stressful than it otherwise would have been.” Allan gives us insight into what he considers to be the ‘ABCs of project management’: “If I had to write down the ABCs of project management. To lead a project effectively. a manager needs to establish and monitor channels of information flow in order to foster communication between participants. I would say that despite your best-laid plans.anticipate. a good project manager already knows. the situation can turn to manure in a hurry if a personnel matter arises. I have always tried to anticipate problems. one has to establish and maintain the flexibility to take appropriate actions when needed. at least in general terms. the “A” in the ABCs of project management could just as well stand for “anticipate. ‘A’ would signify anticipate. the manager’s job is likely to have fewer day-to-day problems. Take the time to communicate upward.. Does that have any significance? Well. Once a project is up and running. Of course. downward. And because it is an ongoing process. Now there is also an “s” at the end of the ABCs of project management.. which is the “C” in the ABCs of project management. and sideways.anticipate. what is supposed to happen next—but all too often it doesn’t. the “B” in the ABCs of project management. With the right team in place. So what are the alternatives? Are there sensible workarounds? What can I do now to lay the groundwork or facilitate matters should something go wrong? These and other questions make up the ongoing process of anticipation. So another important part of a manager’s job is to sustain this prized team you have recruited.
Allan explains that it is all about the culture of location: “When I accepted Dr. being given a temporary task in support of ACE was both a new challenge for . I had been asked to become director of JPL. sustaining the team might be a challenge. Allan Frandsen was also moving. Caltech was the perfect place for a relatively small. there is a noticeable cultural difference between the two institutions. I think. low-cost ($50 million) payload like ours to flourish.Chapter 7 • exploring SpaCe: Shaping Culture by exploiting loCation 177 Indeed. Stone came to realize: “About the time that I was interviewing Al. Stone’s offer to head up the ACE payload development. I would not be able to spend a lot of my time on ACE. however. It was up to NASA Headquarters. but in the opposite direction. “Although Caltech is only seven miles from JPL.” At the time that Dr. but I thought that I could still be an effective PI. They were responsible for developing all nine of the scientific instruments and for making sure that they remained on schedule and within budget. in a dynamic environment. Obviously. Stone was relocating from Caltach to JPL. at times even for the head of the team. than the wrong operating environment. with just three others besides himself plus an administrative assistant. I handed off my responsibilities as chief engineer in NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) science division and moved to an office at the Caltech campus. we want you as PI.” Allan’s core team was small. For these JPL technical specialists. Allan preferred keeping his small permanent team and recruiting additional technical expertise from JPL as needed. Short of choosing the wrong people or having inadequate resources. as Dr. “No. nothing will torpedo a project quicker. I asked. “Do you want me to step down?” The answer was. Whether I would be able to continue as the ACE PI was not my decision. From my vantage point.
I was concerned about getting people who were too imbued with the JPL way. The way I saw it. After working on big projects for years and years. one can get to the point where you can’t think any other way. they would be getting an opportunity to spread their wings and be innovative. but you have to know when the rules need to . Some people want to go in a familiar direction. any remaining resistance to the idea of enmeshing JPL staff in a campus research group seemed to fade. so I was looking for people who were a little bit out of the mainstream. I needed to find the right mix of talents and attitude—people who could flourish in a university environment. Following rules is fine. Although this approach was not always welcomed by the JPL managers. Stone was to become the next JPL director. by the time it was announced that Dr. and that’s not what was required for this job. and they feel comfortable doing that. “Because my team members would be working primarily with scientists and instrument developers scattered across 20 universities and labs. too hidebound from big projects.178 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent honing their skills as well as a refreshing assignment in a new operating environment. However. Not everyone liked what Allan had in mind. The timing was fortuitous because the project came along at a point when the upper management at JPL was yearning for closer working-level relationships with Caltech. who understandably had other priorities and responsibilities. Allan elaborates on the criteria for selecting his team members: “In searching for the right talent at JPL to staff the ACE project. Flexibility was more important than sheer brain power. it succeeded as long as the specialists’ absence from JPL assignments could be worked around and the arrangement was mutually beneficial. Their whole career has been about following the rules. often the one of least resistance. because no staffing arrangement exactly like what he was trying to put in place had ever been tried before.
meaning that if one instrument shut down you could send more data to the other instruments. So I sought out people at JPL who would not be afraid to deviate from the rules. APL would say it was pink. I tried to explain the ramifications of such a change and the fact that we had not intended the system to be reprogrammable.” Mary Chiu. fine. With all the really neat things being done on other spacecraft. This was especially true between Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) and NASA. if you want to give us a change order. tailored. they asked. or even broken. this was no small matter. program manager for spacecraft development at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.” Although solid foundations for good relationships were being put into place between the payload team and the scientists on the West coast. “But when NASA wants to know why you can’t do something. To change to a different data handling system would have required a major restructuring of the spacecraft’s design. Their position was that newer data handling systems provided a reprogrammable system.Chapter 7 • exploring SpaCe: Shaping Culture by exploiting loCation 179 be bent. the people building the spacecraft. As Don Margolies so aptly puts it: “If Goddard said the sky was blue. until some people at Goddard suggested that we use a different data handling format. “We went round and round about it until finally I said ‘Okay. the last thing you want to do is ignore them. relationships were not quite so harmonious on the East coast. describes one example of the tension between the two organizations: “We thought everything was settled. especially on an R&D project designed and executed within a university environment where most rules are flexible and processes generally adaptable to circumstances. why were we getting this ‘old fashioned’ data handling system? For my team at APL.’ but I made it clear that they couldn’t change the requirements this radically and .
my visitor’s badge had been pulled. “Mary assured me that wasn’t the case. while I was visiting APL. One of the things I was concerned about was that APL had recently lost a large contract with the Navy. I asked her for more detailed accounting data. This was met with several comments intimating that the people on my team were not a ‘can-do’ group. the flap about the data handling system passed quickly enough. and she kept saying. presumably charging to the project.” John Thurber. I took an opportunity to visit some of the subsystem leads. and we ended up sticking with the original system. It was a good six months later before I felt I could say. There was no problem getting me reinstated. observatory manager at Goddard Space Flight Center.180 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent still maintain the original cost and schedule. Next time I went out there. which upset many of us. but it sent a strong message as to how she ran her program. but the accounting sheets we were getting didn’t provide specific enough information to verify it.” John describes how another dispute between NASA and APL finally led to a peaceful reconciliation: “I needed more detailed accounting data than we were getting from the standard government form the contractors had to fill out each month so that we could tell how much money subsystems had spent. and I noticed that new people were jumping onto ACE. “Hi Mary. and when she found out I had done that she got very upset. As it turned out. How are you doing? Let’s go have a cup of coffee. recalls that it took a long time to develop a good rapport with Mary Chiu and her team: “Early in the program. Mary Chiu did not want me talking to her leads without her being there. ‘It’s going to cost me more money on the contract if I have to go to a special accounting system.’ We went .
Let me tell you.” Don Margolies compares the different attitudes of APL and NASA: “APL is a proud organization.’” Despite their differences. ‘Here are my internal sheets. . ‘We’ll give you the money. Every month I got a brown envelope from her. finally. and then. We expect to be partners with you. I got what I needed. they will tell you. however. but we’re not going to leave you alone. and everything worked out fine. Having that kind of proximity to each other made all the difference in the world toward cultivating a partnership between our organizations.’ I said. the geographical proximity between the two organizations enabled frequent meetings and communication.’ But NASA’s way of doing business is considerably different from APL’s.’ they don’t just mean real estate. Why don’t I just give them to you? Is this adequate?’ I looked them over. Don underscores the value of location to project success: “Fortunately. location. we developed a much better rapport. ‘This works. and she never caught any more grief from me about who was charging to the program. the distance between Goddard and APL is only about 20 minutes by car. “To my surprise. “After that. and they had everything I needed. when they talk about ‘location. ‘Give us the requirements. location. We say to our contractors. My being able to get out to APL in a few minutes and Mary coming over to Goddard went a long way toward establishing a trustful relationship. and get out of the way and leave us alone. If you ask them to describe the way they like to work under contract. give us the money.Chapter 7 • exploring SpaCe: Shaping Culture by exploiting loCation 181 around about that for a few turns. one day she just handed me a brown envelope and said. I gave up asking.
he believed. at the very least. something that was usually the sole responsibility of the science teams. the other one could take it to the bank.” Frank Snow. however. My Flight Ops team knew the ground system we were using inside and out. train the people out at Caltech on how to use it. As appreciation for my offer. confirms Don’s conclusions regarding the importance of proximity and face-to-face communication: “It occurred to me that the Flight Operations team. “I’m not sure that the relationship between APL and Goddard. We at least reached a point where it seemed that when one of us said something. So I offered our help. he sent . was terribly suspicious of the Goddard project office. ground system development. I also held monthly meetings at APL. but I can’t think of anything we did on the project that was more valuable. total harmony? A little friction is good for a project. and I brought my Goddard team with me. between Mary and myself even. and I thought that they should. is that what you want. I don’t know how to put the value of those meetings into dollars and cents. “One of the coinvestigators at Caltech. should get involved in the data analysis after launch. was ever 100 percent harmonious—but then.182 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent “I held staff meetings at Goddard every week. Each of Mary’s subsystem leads stood up and gave a status report on their subsystems.. and she attended most weeks. Almost any help we offered to make his life easier was. ground system and flight operations manager at Goddard Space Flight Center. People weren’t afraid to say what was happening or to make mistakes because they understood that our working philosophy was just to fix mistakes and move on. My staff would then get up and talk about the status of the instruments.. and so forth. Mary was always invited. which I managed. a ruse to take control of his instrument.
and then reassured him that no one in the project office was trying to take anything away from him or from Caltech. I don’t recall after this ever getting another 300-word email from him of the ‘no-thank-you-and-please-go-away’ variety. Whenever he asked for help. “I went there and listened to his concerns. . Moreover. “He never formally acknowledged it. I told him that I would put it into the operational plan to move the total operations of the spacecraft over to Caltech after launch. but I think he saw that what we were offering was not such a bad idea after all. ‘Hell no!’ At that point. Despite the need for the two systems engineers from APL and Caltech to work tightly together. Maybe I’d have better luck in a faceto-face meeting. we sent someone immediately and we made it clear that we were willing to do so at the drop of a hat. I think I can even say that this was the beginning of a fruitful relationship.” A Gentle Touch One of the key persons in an engineering and technology project is the systems engineer. I decided to fly across the country to Caltech to talk with him. face-to-face communication went a long way toward dispelling his suspicions about my intentions. In fact. As a matter of fact. He allowed the Flight Ops team to come to Caltech and provide training in the ground system. in 300 words no less.Chapter 7 • exploring SpaCe: Shaping Culture by exploiting loCation 183 me a blistering email that basically said. “Clearly. which lasted for the rest of the project. we were actually interested in expanding Caltech’s responsibilities to include flight operations. they initially found it extremely difficult to agree on appropriate work methods. if they were agreeable. empathized with him.
I think it took us the better part of the first year to realize that this was dumb. describes his relationship with Judi von Mehlem. Judi could say. two equals sort of battling each other.5 g’s. Initially. I’m making this sound easy—it wasn’t. his counterpart at APL: “ACE was my first experience with finding cultural differences between institutions that actually manifested themselves in heated differences of opinion at the engineering level. ‘Why are we battling each other when we’re both trying to get the job done?’ It took a while to understand one another’s point of view. APL had a .184 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent Gerald Murphy. “Although our relationship started out rocky. On numerous occasions she challenged my opinions. “Judi and I are both headstrong and intelligent—and used to winning arguments. For me. but there were a number of times where our differences came to a head. but we found a way to work through things and resolve our differences. earning Judy’s respect on technical issues became a challenge that I found motivating. Each university or institution where an instrument came from had a different culture. and I had to go back and sharpen my pencil and come back with sound reasoning and a better technical argument. At APL. It was close to impossible to get uniform compliance across all of the subsystems. Judi and I worked hard at building good communication. Here we were. ‘Okay. “Being the systems engineer for payload was nothing like Judi’s job on the spacecraft side. Judi von Mehlem and I tried to pretend that our differences didn’t exist or that they would magically go away.’ but I had to tailor specifications to each of the instruments. and each had its own way of doing things. payload systems engineer at the California Institute of Technology. “Vibration specification was a good example where APL wanted to do it one way and we wanted to do it another. We had to ask. everybody has to test hardware to 12.
we earned each other’s respect.” The Caltech team was faced with a different challenge in its work with the scientists and instrument developers.Chapter 7 • exploring SpaCe: Shaping Culture by exploiting loCation 185 specification that they wanted us to use to qualify all instrument boxes. If something in the payload breaks. it’s not going to be your fault. weren’t certain about how safe it was to confide in us. ‘You don’t have to worry about the payload. which we felt were overly conservative in the area of vibration test levels. but they thought they did. you don’t really have to worry about the payload. and—we thought—more appropriate. Even though we might argue about things and agree to disagree. “The challenge to my team was getting these science groups to regard us as partners or as people who could help them.’ “ACE challenged me intellectually.’ we said. and Goddard did them yet another way did not mean that any of our ways was the one true way. At first it seemed as though many of the scientists. “‘Well. and they have to deal with it. What I think we learned was this: the fact that I did things this way. it is payload’s fault. or their technical staff. but this is also what made the project so rewarding. and we didn’t make our differences personal. and Judy did them that way. Our environmental test program for the payload was less conservative. rather than what they seemed to expect us to be—a troop of . When we couldn’t come to an agreement. We knew how delicate the payload sensors were. They told Judi. Their specification was based on their institutional precedents. Allan Frandsen describes the challenge and the unique way in which his team approached it: “One aspect of my job as payload manager involved keeping track of what the different science teams were working on and offering help where it was needed. so we specified a lower vibration test to avoid damage. Goddard had to intervene.
186 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent requirements enforcers. “A lot of it just came down to working hard with the coinvestigators at solving development problems and building their trust in the process. in addition to labs in Switzerland and Germany. recognized the contribution we had made and figured that we might be able to help solve a sensor head problem as well. It was that kind of gentle touch. At first. ‘How’s it going? What’s happening here?’ “All the time. a coinvestigator. a gentle touch paid off by keeping everyone working together toward the same goal: delivery of a performing payload. Understand. The word ‘audit’ can put a terrified look on people’s faces.” . They also knew that we could bring precious outside resources to bear in addressing special problems. so we waited for him to approach us—and when he did. and you suffer with them. there was a designer who held things very close to his chest. “There was no pressure. that technician never realized that this was part of a work-process audit. I can recall my visiting reliability and quality assurance manager walking down the hall at one university with his arm over a technician’s shoulder. they begin to realize that you’re on the same team. When you spend days and nights with people. we could barely get him to acknowledge that we were in the room with him. asking. if not the letter. There were 9 instruments and 20 coinvestigators on ACE working at various universities and a few government labs across the United States. which eventually changed peoples’ perceptions about our role on the project. on time and within budget. but again. we didn’t press him to let us get more involved. His boss. “At one university in particular. “I enjoyed telling people about how my payload team adapted the spirit. until we arranged to help him solve a power supply problem. we still had to meet our requirements and satisfy the Goddard project office. of NASA practices to fit the university environment.
we decided to have implementation reviews. or any new technology development for that matter. despite what they might tell you. ‘What do you need in order to get your job done. so how the heck do you know how much it’s going to cost? And besides.’ In short. and you declare success when you are ‘close enough. Few project managers accomplish that. And I don’t just mean taking a look at schedules . You know the result you want.Chapter 7 • exploring SpaCe: Shaping Culture by exploiting loCation 187 Gerald Murphy illustrates what a tall order that was for ACE. In point of fact. even if an instrument had a good ‘design. what was going to be ‘good enough. “When I use the word ‘implementation. the job must be dynamically managed. you can’t foresee all the problems you’ll run up against. and it’s easy to understand why— technology development doesn’t have a predictable path. where they needed to produce five instruments that were either entirely new or considerably modified from earlier models: “The biggest challenge in managing scientific instrument development.’ its implementation needed to be executed smoothly. We in the payload management office took the approach of asking each team. reviews are design-focused.’ and not knowing what we could do to help the university teams build them. “It just doesn’t happen. but it turned out to be the single most valuable review we had from the point of view of project success. many of a project’s problems are not caused by design flaws—they are caused by implementation flaws. is trying to get the project completed on schedule for the money you have. Typically. I had never been on a project before where this was done. In our case. “Some of our problems early in the project derived from not understanding exactly what the instruments were intended to do—that is. and how can we make that happen?’ “To address these concerns.’ I mean it in the broadest sense—implementation of the design and manufacture of the instrument. You haven’t built this thing before.
including the payload group. and do they have the right experience? “For the ACE payload. If it occurred too early.” . on the other hand. We tried to be efficient. with a balance across the different disciplines. if it was too late. we would typically bring people from Goddard who were good at understanding resources and estimating actual costs. For example. Do you have margin for error? What are the technical risks and what is your plan to deal with them? Who is responsible for what? How many engineers do you have on the job. We found the holes and looked for ways to plug them—together. It was always tricky putting together just the right team. and interfaces that are clear and easily defined. and figured out how we were going to get the instrument built and delivered. we traveled around to each instrument developer. The implementation review happened only once at each site. but we managed to find the expertise that we needed. We would grab somebody from JPL who could solve that in a week instead of letting the instrument team spin their wheels for six months. let’s say that we knew a team was having a problem making their detector meet launch load requirements. The process was labor intensive because we camped out onsite for three days. “The point of the implementation review was to prevent problems from occurring later by trying to get our arms around the planning from the start. it was not beneficial. We sat around the table together. The teams were usually made up of between five and eight people. “The size and composition of the review teams were tailored to the places we went.188 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent and money. In addition. listened to presentations. you would already be buried in trying to solve the problems of the day instead of being ahead of the wave. but not to be overly optimistic and fool ourselves. I also mean looking to see if you have the right team—a team that is assembled in such a way that the lines of responsibility make sense. but the timing had to be just right.
Having dealt with NASA before. “Obviously that wasn’t Al’s style. The thing was not to try and oversee what they were doing. Stone stresses the need for collaboration until the very end: “After environmental testing was fully completed on ACE. These were all people who had built instruments before. They weren’t going to pay attention to somebody telling them to do things they knew were unnecessary. and expect things done a certain way.Chapter 7 • exploring SpaCe: Shaping Culture by exploiting loCation 189 Implementation reviews accomplished one other thing: They set the tone for the management of the project and established a team relationship. they should have been relatively easy to . the principal investigator at Caltech. Dr. their tendency right away was to think that someone coming from JPL would try to oversee what they were doing.” When “Good Enough” Is Not Good Enough Dr. but what it indicated to me was that he wanted to work with people rather than to direct them. prescribe rules to be followed. The way Al ran the payload office was to try and be helpful to the instrument teams. reminds us of Allan Frandsen’s interview when he was applying for the job of payload manager and how he had used the word “tranquility” to describe his management style: “Al showed remarkably good judgment in dealing with the instrument teams. Stone. the scientists wanted to take off all the instruments for recalibration. I wouldn’t have used that term myself. Because of the way the instruments were mounted on the ACE spacecraft. and that is how I interpreted what he said about his management style being one that strived for tranquility. demand a lot of paperwork. But meanwhile. APL wanted them to stay on the spacecraft.
“Several people on the project thought I was crazy. ‘What can we do to make the science better?’ . I was going to stick my neck out and guarantee Don that the instruments would be back on time for reintegration. and good enough is good enough. and this came down to explaining what I considered to be the broad view of the issue. we had more than adequate slack in the schedule.” Don Margolies explains his decision and his considerations: “If approved. right? Normally. I would take the pragmatic approach: ‘Your instruments are working. Don had the ultimate responsibility to decide what risks to take. If it’s not broken. The job of the project manager was to balance the interests of the engineers and the scientists so that we ended up with an optimal system.’ On the other hand. not calibrating them properly increases risk as well—the risk of not getting good science. I know. it would have been the first time on any NASA project that I know of when all the instruments on an observatory came off for rework or calibration after the full range of environmental tests and then were reintegrated at the launch center without the benefit of an observatory environmental retest. don’t fix it. “As the project manager. We were in a position to ask. but I wanted him to understand the importance of recalibration for the scientists. Reintegration. would be no small matter for Mary Chiu and APL.190 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent remove and reinstall. It comes back to ‘What’s good enough?’ The question was ‘How much does taking off the instruments increase risk?’ In my view. but I recognized that it was still his decision to make. while it was certainly a doable task. There were real engineering issues. and we were coming in $30 million under budget—amazing. Why do it? We had gone through our environmental test programs successfully and everything seemed to be operational.
When I approached them about this. and the one I was most concerned about was Mary Chiu because it was APL’s responsibility to reintegrate the instruments. they didn’t mince words. It happened because people were willing to work with one another to make it happen. For those who had only completed marginal calibration prior to testing. one answer to the question was better calibration. albeit a reluctant buy-in. In order to provide a proper return on the $100 million NASA investment. and I was prepared to explain. So there really was a net benefit to the science by doing this. “And so it all worked out in the end. Ultimately. The orderly return of the instruments didn’t happen exactly as we had planned. Mary was a key part of the planning process. Calibration in orbit takes time. “There were still other stakeholders whom I had to convince. had to perform on all cylinders. so to speak. But I knew I was going to hear this. and getting her buy-in. We talked about it exhaustively. but not without first undergoing an independent review of our plans.Chapter 7 • exploring SpaCe: Shaping Culture by exploiting loCation 191 “Given that we had the schedule. Clearly. ACE. an Office of Space Science mission.’ they told me. we reintegrated the instruments at the launch site. especially in terms of what the impact would be on her team. I wouldn’t have agreed to this had the APL team said it was an impossible risk. ‘Don. the alternative was to calibrate again in orbit. “But how do you know the risk is low enough to put an instrument back on without retesting it under vibration? That was the question my management put to me. If the scientists had the opportunity to tweak and calibrate their instruments on the ground. and it’s not as precise as on the ground. was a major precondition for going through with it. they would most likely get better science in space. but due to the skill and dedication of the APL team. I was able to get management to buy off on the decision. you are crazy. given that we had the money.” .
They’re of the fun I had working with such excellent people. sums up the overall feeling about working on ACE: “Though I’ve long since moved on to other projects. They all displayed ‘passion. I’m happy that the ground system is working so well and the scientists are getting lots of good data. I read them because I’m still curious about how the mission is going. “But when I think back on ACE. my memories aren’t of the technical sort. people who had a passion for their jobs. . And that is the word I like to use. It’s always fun working with people like that. and I enjoyed it very much. I still get reports probably on a monthly basis from both the ground system team and the scientists.5 million km from the latter. the ground system and flight operations manager at Goddard Space Flight Center. The spacecraft is still in generally good condition and has enough fuel to maintain its orbit until the year 2024. which lies between the sun and the Earth at a distance of some 1.’ no matter what the job.192 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent Frank Snow.” The ACE spacecraft is currently operating in an orbit.
No longer would five small. was slated to be the largest dairy in the Middle East and among the largest ones in Europe.. The new dairy. in Jerusalem. That dairy would replace three veteran dairies around the country. each with its own production specialty. Haifa. local dairies each produce and market all of its dairy products to the local buyers. would cover about 60. and so on). modern dairies would be built. a 70-year-old company and one of the ten largest industrial companies in Israel. yogurt. systems. which would then be closed down. including the buildings. The equipment was linked together by more than 80 kilometers of stainless steel 193 . and infrastructure. and Tel Aviv. at Alon Tavor. The constructed facilities for the factory.8 Building a Dairy Plant: Accelerating Speed Through Splitting and Harmonizing by Alexander Laufer. initiated a major project that called for switching to a new “specialized dairy” organizational structure. One of these three new dairies was slated to specialize in cup products (cottage cheese. and Dora Cohenca-Zall Shifting from Park to Drive Tnuva Food Industries Ltd. Jeffrey Russell. relying on logistics centers for distribution. Rather.000 square meters. three large.
194 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent pipe and 7. Following a thorough selection process. felt helpless: “I understood the needs of the construction team.000 automated valves. All the equipment . Zvika. Benjamin. Zvika discovered that the equipment and processes design was still in its infancy.” Zvika describes the typical engineering and construction work required for dairy plants: “In designing and building a complex dairy plant. approximately 12 kilometers from Nazareth. all on a 130. During his first months on the job. Tavor. The equipment and processes group is responsible for designing the production and transportation equipment and arranging it in the optimal way. and supplies. GEA. and as such it suffered from a multitude of technological and organizational problems. Zvika’s counterpart who served as the project manager for equipment and processes. in the fall of 1999. systems. and to produce and install the basic equipment. was chosen in the beginning of 1998.” However. and that Tnuva’s contractual obligation to provide the construction designers with the basic data needed to begin designing the structures in three months would not be fulfilled: “In order to design the product flow in the plant. it was a complex project. from the finished products to packaging and storage. two main groups of engineers are engaged: equipment and processes and construction. It also suffered from the physical and cultural distance between the professionals leading the project at Tnuva in Israel and their counterparts at GEA in Germany. The results of the basic equipment design were meant to be the basis for the construction planners in designing the physical structure of the various buildings in the plant. and we couldn’t get any information from them. a German company. was hired by Tnuva to lead the planning and construction of its new dairy. the head of one of the branches of a large project management company. but the GEA engineers from Germany were still at the very beginning of designing the equipment layout.000-square-meter site at the foot of Mt.
Zvika thought that it was time to move ahead. Zvika primarily recruited designers with offices in the northern part of Israel . among other things. and operations made it difficult to see that they even all belonged to the same division. most of all. including roads and landscaping. and in a way even legitimized the delay. kept demanding strict adherence to the agreed-upon schedule.” which. with the consent of Tnuva. mostly in Germany. Ofer. included learning from the best examples worldwide and necessarily entailed taking quite a few trips abroad. Moreover. Despite the lack of information from the German designers. water. refrigeration. judging by the constant stream of changes they were requesting from GEA.” Beyond all of the logistical problems encountered in getting the project off the ground. he selected people that he knew from his own past experience to be competent. marketing. 195 and processes engineering was done outside Israel. sewer. He felt that the prolonged delay in the beginning of the design and engineering of the facilities was unhealthy for the project. communications. Although the CEO of the dairy division. and. For the most part. he was of the opinion that starting before all open issues are resolved is the best way to ensure their speedy resolution. The construction group is responsible for the building design and its systems. and drainage. a few people seemed to be simply enjoying this period of planning the “dairy of dreams. he started forming the design engineering team. electricity. the ongoing fights between technology. trustful. Thus. including air conditioning. The construction engineers and architects were almost all local. To make matters worse. to switch from planning to implementation. that is. as well as for outdoor plot development. Moreover. responsive. In the interests of enhancing responsiveness. it seems that they had not accepted the decision made by the division months earlier to freeze the defined scope and requirements of the project. the primary source of the prolonged delay was the feeling among many key people within Tnuva that it was not time to converge.
which define the plant’s reason for existing. In the end. the milk arrival area was placed in the south—a decision that actually determined the positioning of the production building and was supposed to open the door for the rest of the design work to proceed. The process of forming the design engineering team served as a crucial trigger for highlighting fundamental issues. it seemed that too many functionaries at Tnuva still did not feel the pressure to move forward. Tnuva went along with Zvika and kept the price level fair and often favorable to the designers. For example. would face north. arguing that allowing the milk trucks access to loading and unloading on the southern side would facilitate the material flow through the plant. During the negotiations. and his team of senior managers came to the conclusion that the beauty of the plant would truly come through via the “forest” of piping and giant stainless steel tanks in the front of the plant. The debate was around whether the energy center should be placed near the entrance. However. such as the location of the various buildings on the plot.196 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent so that frequent visits to the site would not be a problem. On the other hand. Ofer. south of the production building. had not been finalized. the strong winds on the southern side might cause the ash coming out of the chimneys to blow toward the area where the milk . which would provide a shorter distance for the piping (and save a loss of energy through that piping). despite the time that had gone by. it became evident to everybody that some of the most basic decisions. with a “clean” view free of piping and storage tanks. However. the manufacturing division recommended the opposite solution. For example. thereby enabling them to demand a particularly high quality of service. with its vast piping and many silos that projected high above the building. and the main entrance of the plant would face south. The architect wanted to position the production building so that the milk arrival area. the managers were still unable to reach a decision as to the placement of the energy center. the CEO of the dairy division.
This decision was critical. would enhance our chances of overcoming at least some of the delay and thus open the possibility of finishing the entire project on time. to start the design and actual construction only after all major decisions regarding equipment are finalized—would be wrong. It was my experience that this state of affairs is very unhealthy. Why? First. they felt that the constant delays and the stalemates were just unavoidable. one by GEA. it was clear that GEA was not even ready with the preliminary equipment plans. who had not embraced any sense of urgency. reason. and one by my team. Without these plans. Zvika had to accept the painful conclusion that the only two key people who were really concerned about the constantly delayed timetable were Ofer and Zvika himself: “More than once. because the equipment setup is what determines the final dimensions and requirements of the facilities in such terms as weight. we were late. and I worked hard to find ways to advance the project. and an early start. By March 2000. I felt that maintaining momentum was the key. I felt that three separate plants were being designed: one by Tnuva. the debate went on and on without any clear closure. because it affected the placement of all the other structures in the dairy plant. area size. there was another. at least with some activities. less obvious. and at times a project simply cannot recover from these delays. There were more than a few people. and plumbing. even before GEA had submitted its equipment layout. rather. As he explained: “I understood that we had to start construction as soon as possible. By that time. I came to the conclusion that without taking a . 197 would be delivered.” Zvika realized that attempting to proceed through the typical process—that is. thus contaminating the main side of the production building. Yet. column placement. However. it would be difficult to proceed with the design of the facilities. both at Tnuva and at GEA.
and this at the time that GEA was supposed to be done with its planning. At last. Unfortunately.198 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent radical step. the key is that Ofer was convinced.” Zvika was able to surprise them all. it was time to review the entire picture. Many visits were carried out in other leading dairy production plants and design offices throughout the world as part of the ambitious project scope. Due to the upcoming winter in November. Zvika was prepared with his response: “Accepting a decision to wait six months will amount to making a decision to wait 12 months. so they claimed. However. Zvika’s team would have all the needed information from GEA. he requested a meeting in Ofer’s office. The project could not wait one full year. many functionaries at Tnuva were still bound to the idea of a state-of-the-art-driven dairy. Thus. the project was about to shift gears from park to drive. By that time. Tnuva’s equipment and process people strongly recommended that the design and construction of the facilities not be allowed to start for at least six more months. so at the end of March 2000. if the earthwork and foundations are not begun immediately. Apparently. too many people at Tnuva were still sending GEA changes regarding project requirements. .” Zvika strongly believed that the only way to stop this endless planning and preparation phase was by action. then we will have to wait until the ground is dry around March 2001. and the results were quite alarming. I strongly recommend that we start the earthwork no later than May 2000. at least the preliminary planning. and he was ready to bear the consequences of starting construction prior to finalizing the equipment planning. Gaining Independence When the series of intense meetings regarding the earthmoving work was over. the project was simply not ready to shift gears from park to drive.
recycle current equipment in place of purchasing new ones. Now the project had become “schedule-driven. Although this new development was clearly a possible source of difficulties for the project. with this . Ofer approved the plan changes and the new budget. put off investing in new fields. we must be willing to examine everything. make the spaces smaller. even at a strategic level. the project scope was re-evaluated and was then presented to Ofer with a significant physical reduction in the middle of August 2000. Now. This new development represented a threat to Tnuva’s domination in the cup products field. My decision obligates everyone to go back to the drawing board. with a strong emphasis on cost savings. lower the standards. Ofer stressed that the project had to be completed within 36 months. He saw it as crucial leverage for finally making real progress.” At every meeting. and the project was now back on track. However. In light of this situation. the project maintained its “cost-driven” orientation only for a short period of time.” For six weeks. and the like. was about to embark on a new cottage cheese line in its new dairy. 199 which led in the end to an additional 10. Toward the end of 2000. He summoned his entire executive team and the leadership of the project and instructed them to make radical changes in the project scope in order to cut the cost back to the original budget. The new guideline to the project team was issued very soon and was very sharp: Make every possible effort to expedite the completion of the Alon Tavor dairy.000 square meters of future construction and equipment. Ofer declared a state of crisis at the beginning of July 2000. He further emphasized to all involved parties what the consequences for Tnuva would be. Tnuva learned that Strauss. its greatest rival. Zvika viewed it differently. if the schedule was not maintained. along with a deviation of more than 20 million dollars from the approved budget of 160 million dollars. Ofer’s instructions were unequivocal: “To cut costs. and it seriously worried Tnuva’s management.
Benjamin. Decoupling is always costly. They were reluctant to confirm. I. On the other hand. It was clear to me that the data Zvika was looking for was critical to start planning the building. however. In most areas of the production hall of the dairy. I couldn’t help him. columns. he could try to decouple the construction component of the project from the equipment and processes component that was lagging behind. Supporting these types of loads is very expensive and requires a scrupulous design of the skeleton system. the required load was much higher—two to three tons per square meter. beams. I realized that there was no other choice. Their design was not final. The common load in many industrial structures is about one ton per square meter. and floors. did not have a choice but to agree: “I was between a rock and a hard place. but at that stage. Zvika recalls: “I asked them to indicate these areas on the plans and to confirm that this distribution of loads was final. If we wanted to make any progress in the design of the structure. therefore. Following several meetings with no closure regarding the distribution of the loads. the project manager for equipment and processes. Zvika was rightfully putting pressure to get immediate data about the loads and equipment placement. the processing engineers and some of the key people in Tnuva had not yet agreed even on the basic operations of the plant. recommended to Tnuva that . including foundations. Zvika and his team were able to identify a number of areas in which the loads required were extremely heavy. but now he knew that he would be armed with a strong incentive to justify the added cost: meeting the expedited timetable. we must be willing to pay for redundancy.” One of the key unknowns preventing the design of the structure from proceeding was the weight of the permanent and portable equipment on the floor.200 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent timetable pressure. During meetings with the processing engineers.
schedule-driven project that suffers from limited cooperation with its equipment and process designers will undoubtedly have to cope with numerous delays and changes. at least for a while. The cost of all the added redundancies was about half a million dollars. to issue a bid and sign a contract with one large construction firm. he was still tied to his previous job and could not give the dairy his full attention during the very critical first year. However. As is customary in many companies.” He further argued: “We should not kid ourselves. However. in which the construction is led by the design constraints of the equipment layout. Since there wasn’t enough time. Thus. we may find ourselves having to deal with two big and inflexible suppliers. who was the designated CEO of the dairy once operational. complex. We then identified several other elements of the structure that required added redundancies. we would be able to decouple the design of the structure from GEA. Zvika disagreed: “By adopting the typical approach of hiring one large contractor. we approved the added cost.” . the construction people led the design of the dairy plant. I needed to agree to Zvika’s recommendations. A huge. he also served as the overall project director. we may find ourselves engulfed in an endless stream of paperwork and grievances. it was time to think about the next phase: construction. just the opposite of a common situation. as I realized that his solution was the best we would find under the difficult circumstances at that time. Instead of having difficulties only with one big supplier. He was ready to go along with the program: “In this case. Once they were approved by Tnuva. 201 all floors in the production hall be designed for three tons per square meter. We would do better to develop a construction organization that will allow us to cope with these changes by being adaptable and responsive. was supposed to be overseeing and assisting Zvika and Benjamin.” Now that the design engineers were working full speed on the design of the facilities. GEA. Tnuva wanted to proceed through the common way—that is.” Dror.
according to which the central tender committee meets at Tnuva Headquarters in Tel Aviv once biweekly to discuss material received in the previous week. was certified to represent the committee at the site. With this additional responsibility.” Apparently.” This was followed by two weeks of negotiations with the different bidders. This step allowed Zvika and his team to significantly shorten the time necessary to choose contractors. and especially to have a decisive influence on which contractors were the most appropriate for each type of activity. I was going to take a great personal risk. and streamline it. the head of the construction division at Tnuva. convinced Tnuva to go along with Zvika. Zvika had to gain freedom from Tnuva itself. the prospects of experiencing bumpy progress one more time. It was not too difficult to convince the committee to abandon the standard process.’ it would be my responsibility to issue work to many medium-sized contractors and to ensure their responsiveness. they were authorized to negotiate with prospective contractors. I was sure that without it. as Zvika and Tnuva soon learned. . and together with Zvika.202 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent Zvika therefore suggested to Tnuva to enlarge his contract and. Tnuva has a set of clear procedures for the bidding process. However. to assign him the overall responsibility for construction as well: “As the ‘general contractor. the relative freedom gained from GEA and from any future construction companies was not enough for ensuring speedy progress. Following the decoupling from GEA. and his contract was enlarged accordingly. “by the book. The foundations tender was treated by the committee in accordance with the formal procedures—that is. the project would not meet its objectives. However. and only then a contractor was selected. move it to the construction site. the construction designers were able to finalize the design of the foundation and to prepare the needed material for the bidding process. this process was far too long for a schedule-driven project. on top of the design of the facilities and quality control inspection in the field. like they had with GEA. However. Yoram.
the design of the facility was not smooth and produced only small chunks of work. Zvika was forced to split the project among a large number of contractors: “While usually I might not like the added burden of coordinating between many contractors working on the same project. However. in this case we took advantage of the situation. told me that I must first test and see if I could work with Mike. because of the slow and unpredictable flow of basic information from GEA. Zvika was now fully independent and finally ready to move to the site and start construction.” Accordingly. something inside me. was the one who caught his attention. during which they would try to devise the appropriate “division of labor” between the two of them. Zvika was ready to recruit someone to staff the position of the “general contractor. Zvika was concerned that Mike was rumored to have a “centralist” personality. yet Mike. with trouble accepting authority: “I was concerned that we wouldn’t be able to work as a team. my intuition if you will. While the other good candidates were more ‘mainstream’ types of managers. a 69-year-old civil engineer. He interviewed a number of good candidates for the position. Zvika and Mike agreed to a mutual trial period of three months.” the person who would serve as the overall manager of construction. To maintain speed. since dividing up the work greatly increased the competition between the . During that time. Splitting and Harmonizing In October 2000. 203 They chose contractors not only on the basis of price. He had once worked at a different branch of Zvika’s project management company and had vast experience working on large and complex projects. I was also worried about his ability to cope with the huge and complicated site at his age. but rather based on previous experience working with them and on their ability to commit to a schedule.
in every possible way. We both knew that it was a great success for both of us.” At the end of the three-month trial period. the contractors . Mike describes the work climate: “We very much encouraged competition between the different contractors. Tnuva agreed. if one of the contractors was having trouble with cash flow. Thus. who were generally paid in cash. six in stainless steel. In order to help him. to pay a one-time sum as a premium beyond the contract. but inflexible.” At the peak of operations at the dairy plant. were not afraid to accelerate their pace of work and knew that all bills submitted would be approved and paid on time. there were around 250 different contractors and suppliers in construction alone. For example. the client trusted Mike and his team and never appealed a bill that he had approved: “In more than a few cases. under my recommendation. Tnuva took it upon itself to directly pay the workers. Each contractor who completed his work to our satisfaction immediately received another ‘chunk of work. Likewise.’ I made sure to keep continuity in providing the contractors with work in order to avoid wasting equipment and manpower. He helped. We agreed that our strong cooperation had surprised us. which would allow the contractor to complete the work in the meantime. another eight on the steel frame. but more importantly. there were ten contractors simultaneously working on the concrete skeleton. Tnuva went above and beyond to help contractors who were in need. I used to compare the quick pace and agility of the ‘monkeys’ on-site versus the reliable.” The contractors. there was no question in Zvika’s mind as to whether Mike would be staying: “Mike and I did not have to discuss whether or not he would stay on the job. Mike was a man of extremes. for example. work of the ‘elephants’ at GEA. one of the contractors was having difficulty paying his foreign workers. and another four on electrical systems. who relied on Tnuva’s financial stability.204 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent contractors. for the project. On a different occasion.
He preferred to focus on helping the contractors on-site. The contractors loved him and trusted him blindfolded that he wouldn’t hold back any effort to help them with anything. He loved meeting and talking ‘on the scaffolding’ with work managers as well as with the ‘simple’ workers. shipped to the site. he made sure that those contractors would not work again in his territory. In order to cut these costs. As much as he could.” Due to the accelerated schedule. none of them needed it continuously onsite. While each one of those contractors now needed to order a very expensive crane. with the weight of each unit ranging from seven to twenty tons. Zvika explains: “The pre-fabricated elements that were designed for the production building were especially heavy. the order for the pre-fabricated elements was split between three separate manufacturers. which he viewed as an outrageous waste of time. Zvika proposed that Tnuva rent the cranes. Dividing up the manufacturing of the pre-fabricated elements between three suppliers sped up manufacturing but created a new problem. Tnuva agreed and signed a one-year rental contract with a crane supplier. This time frame provided all the on-site contractors with two large mobile cranes for the duration of construction. the building skeleton was designed to be built with pre-fabricated concrete elements. Mike was a man of action and hated sitting at large meetings. while he did not hide his dislike toward those he considered inferior. To meet the compressed timetable. The constant presence of these cranes on-site not only significantly lowered the costs. which were made by specialized manufacturers. When the manager of a certain contracting company came onsite in fancy clothing or in a Mercedes. and assembled there. but also sped up . 205 that he considered to be good. it drove him crazy. and the cost of moving a crane to and from the site was extremely expensive.
especially for foreign designers working abroad.206 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent the rate of work. we put a unique intranet system in place. The blueprints were sent to the site via the intranet. That way. and to ensure that all designers in Israel and in Germany were working with the most up-to-date version of the plans.” He went on to explain the significance of this system. The most recent photographs were compared with the photographs from the previous month and sent to all managers at Tnuva and GEA.” Zvika emphasizes the importance of communication between everyone involved in the construction: “At this stage. The photos were distributed via the intranet network to all the designers and contractors in Israel and abroad. The system allowed everyone to view and use all the plans in the system in real time. all the necessary copies could be made and distributed to the many contractors on-site. on developing a system which would enable the quick updating of changes. since the cranes were now available 24 hours a day. During most of the construction. particularly for designers at a distant location: “In order to avoid the need for the common. yet expensive and inefficient. In addition. my strategy for accelerating construction was focused on better communication—that is. designers and managers. GEA was still behind . could always be updated about any change that was made. both on-site and at the various offices.” The construction site was even photographed once a month from the air. and within minutes. as well as on creating a climate which would facilitate sharing problems quickly and openly. an advanced workstation was installed on-site to produce blueprints. To encourage the ongoing planning and coordination among all the design engineers. Receiving an up-to-date documentation of the situation on-site was very helpful. the team of inspectors we had on-site carried out daily documentation of progress via digital cameras. messenger services.
By displaying the monthly progress in a clear and vivid way. from the beginning of the work to its end. and because they were sure that construction on-site was also lagging behind. The designers of the facility met weekly there. office building on-site. they were not making a special effort to overcome the delay. The team of inspectors was composed of twelve engineers who were carefully chosen by Mike and me. showing extremely fast progress. Therefore. They were sure that the schedule reports sent by Zvika. “The best example of how rich and frequent face-to-face communication can connect people and make them into a cohesive team was the daily meetings that Mike held with his team of inspectors. and their expected role was to continuously verify that the work was being performed according to the project design and specifications and the accepted standards. both for solving problems in real time and for building strong cooperation among the various design engineers. 207 schedule. and especially to convince GEA that it was time to accelerate its pace of work. and was committed to its success. Zvika was trying to call everybody’s attention to the fast progress on-site.” Mike elaborates: “Each one of the inspectors undertook a specific aspect of the project.” As Zvika describes. Tnuva built a temporary. but comfortable and sophisticated. all project meetings. just could not be accurate. and each of the meetings began with a tour of the site. Zvika sums up his team’s approach: “As much as we invested in ‘high-tech’ communication. These meetings were very effective. took place on-site. Each . and in that framework acted relatively independently. I believe that the key was rather ‘high-touch’ communication and especially being ‘close to the action’ on-site. felt responsible for it. For this purpose.
but I have to admit that I did not attempt to bring it about and did not even see it coming. I may have contributed a bit to the development of this unique and harmonious relationship between the inspectors and the contractors.’ but rather as someone making sure that the contractor can accomplish the mission without violating the rules.208 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent day the entire team gathered to analyze the contractors’ performance. Then it was only natural to become more responsive to their customers. Gradually. and to prepare for the next day. Often they were able to prevent problems from happening at all. on the part of both the inspectors and the contractors. rather than his policeman. As the project progressed.” Zvika believed that Mike was being far too modest: “I disagree with Mike. however. the contractors. held even outside of work hours and including other family members. . the commitment to project success. was completely unexpected. as if they were his consultant or partner. the unpleasant control function of the inspectors became a very productive joint problem-solving function.’ extending to informal meetings. grew immensely. The intensity of performance and the daily meetings created a ‘team spirit. He made his inspectors change their outlook and start to see the contractors as their customers. which contributed greatly to strengthening the connections made during work.” The most important contribution of the inspectors. Mike describes this transformation: “They have stopped seeing their role as ‘a policeman who writes a ticket for violating the rules. In this way. the inspectors together with the contractors solved problems as soon as they arose. Rather than wait until a problem developed and became visible and difficult to rectify. to share learning. The harmonious relationship between the inspectors and the contractors was the direct result of Mike’s behavior. most of the inspectors perceived their job as helping the contractor to produce quality work.
was a good enough reason to throw a joint party for all the workers. and nice tables with food and drink ‘fit for a king’ were set up and served personally to all the workers by the catering staff. As time went on. they realized that their assumption was wrong. Tnuva also funded a personal gift that was distributed to all of the workers. Outside catering was ordered. All the contractors were asked to arrive that day in festive clothing. A nice printed card was attached with a message in three languages (Hebrew. he decided that this was an excellent opportunity to celebrate and to say a loud and clear thank-you to all 500 workers on-site. and speed of the work cannot be overestimated. the holidays for the Jews (Chanuka). Suddenly. efficiency. He declared that pouring the second concrete ceiling. Workers and exceptional contractors received certificates of appreciation. When Mike learned that in December of 2001. GEA was very busy with other projects in Europe and chose to match the pace of their work to the premise that the construction team would not be able to complete and hand over the structures for equipment installation according to the planned schedule. . and the Christians (Christmas) were set to fall during the same week. and which was completed faster than expected. and the CEOs of all the companies as well as from Tnuva also attended. The event was nicely organized and was funded by Tnuva and the various contractors. which had been done around the same time. 209 I believe that the huge contribution of the dedicated work of the inspectors to the quality. This event aroused a lot of excitement for all involved and even received attention from the local media. Construction was about to be completed.” This feeling of cooperation and mutual respect was expressed in the “Holiday of Holidays” event. the friction between GEA and Tnuva and the on-site construction team did not subside. and English). in which Tnuva thanked the workers for their contribution and wished them a happy holiday. Arabic. and GEA—still hopelessly behind schedule—was going to be held responsible for the delays. the Muslims (Eid alAdha).
when two weeks earlier he had been informed by on-site delegates that the basement floor had just been poured. GEA needed Tnuva’s approval for changes to already constructed facilities. I immediately called Zvika and asked him to photograph the status of that day and send it to me by email. I specifically referred to the milk basement. This time. However. arrived at the site.” In March 2001. CEO of the dairy. was a big advantage in this project. As it turned out. GEA installation teams. speaking German became crucial when GEA arrived on the scene. These proposed alterations would be costly. It seemed to me that my visit put GEA under great stress because their premise that the facility would be delayed had not stood up to the test of reality. The CEO of GEA was astounded that I dared claim that the completed basement would be handed over to GEA in the beginning of March 2001. both in terms of money and time. The disputes between GEA and Tnuva continued. The fact that he was American and was fluent in many languages. I threatened that if the size of their design team was not going to be increased significantly and immediately. including English and German. Mike had cultivated an . we would fine them for damages. Mike was able to smooth things over. Zvika attached a daily work plan showing that the structure would be ready to be handed over to GEA by the beginning of March 2001. the basement foundation had been entirely completed. such as cutting large openings in existing walls. I complained about the great delay in design.210 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent Dror. which GEA had promised to begin working on in March 2001. The photograph showed that during those two weeks. which involved working together with many foreign companies and experts from a wide variety of countries. delivered a reality check and an ultimatum: “In a stormy meeting that I had in January 2001 in Germany with GEA management. including about 35 people. and this added friction was not helpful for progress on-site.
Looking back at the project.” Zvika agrees with Benjamin and adds: “The dairy project required me to make more than a few difficult decisions. with a small deviation in budget. we were able to easily split the work between the two of us and to cooperate in the most harmonious way possible all the time. and he was a great asset to the project. which led me to take several out-of-theordinary actions. 211 overall friendly working relationship with the GEA on-site manager. the project manager for equipment and processes recalls: “Mike helped me a lot in dealing with the German contractors. You can quickly gain his trust if you happen to belong to the camp of people who do what they say. and the loser had to pay for drinks that day. I think that the most unusual action.” The project ended on time. Benjamin. and yet. . when all the troubles of the day were brought up. issues that needed coordination were pinpointed. The two had a liking for “betting” on tasks that seemed impossible. Zvika and his team won much praise from the Tnuva management and from the operators themselves. Mike and I are such different people. knowing that today and next week are being taken care of by him in the best possible way. and they trusted him much more than they trusted the Tnuva people. They also received a letter of recognition and a premium for accomplishing a near-impossible mission. a person you can easily trust. I believe the key was that Mike is a person who does what he says. Having Mike on the team allowed me to concentrate on planning and preparing for the next month and the next quarter. was creating the role for the general contractor and recruiting Mike for the job. He developed very unique ties with them. This informal relationship helped substantially in reducing the stress between the two sides. and the most successful one. He won their highest level of cooperation. At the end of each workday. the two had the habit of meeting in the office to have a glass of whisky. and a work plan for the following day was agreed upon.
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effective reflection should be done in light of a theory or a model of the phenomenon at hand. this book’s content. one practice at a time. experience alone without thoughtful reflection is meaningless. this model can serve as an excellent tool for facilitating your ongoing thoughtful reflection. The eight contextually rich and vivid cases should have provided you with enough direction to start the long journey from management to leadership. This was also the main guideline for developing the following nine practices for project leadership. a model built on the basis of the actual behavior of successful practitioners. 213 . As such.Epilogue Practices for Project Leadership by Alexander Laufer Successful project leadership is an ongoing process of learning. and structure were designed with a clear purpose: to encourage an attitude of responsibility for one’s own learning and to facilitate the learning process. Leadership develops primarily through on-the-job experiences. The individual practices should guide you in building your experience base. The nine practices as a whole represent an overall model for project leadership. Thus. Moreover. format. However.
and changing environment faced by contemporary organizations renders the leadership of these organizations like navigating in “permanent white water. tends to produce novel problems. a Greek philosopher. Vaill calls our attention to the fact that the external environment of contemporary projects is full of surprises. a work of art. it was the French Nobel Prize winner Henri Bergson who a century ago proposed a concept of order that today might help us to better see project reality. Gradually. argued that the only constant in our world is change.” In using the “permanent white water” metaphor. Bergson claimed that there is no such thing as disorder.214 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent First Practice: Embrace the “Living Order” Concept About 2. Today. all projects aim to reach a perfectly functioning product with geometric order. While in “geometric order” Bergson related to the traditional concept of order. In a 1977 Harvard Business Review article. or the mess in my office. “Managers and leaders. the economic. However. and political challenges of globalization and the rapid technological innovations make this statement as true as ever. some parts of the project approach geometric order. are they different?” Zaleznik answered . social. Heraclitus. explains that the complex. though in an era of “permanent white water.500 years ago. Indeed. As the cases in this book clearly demonstrate. they may face great uncertainty—living order—that does not completely disappear over the entire course of the project.” the project as a whole does not assume geometric order until late in its life. but rather two sorts of order: geometric order and living order. in “living order” he referred to phenomena such as the creativity of an individual. professor Abraham Zaleznik of Harvard Business School was the first to pose the question. In his 1907 book Creative Evolution. an American professor of management. and is “messy” and ill-structured. At the start. Peter Vaill. turbulent.
the reader. must as well. . As a result. and thus. Zaleznik added that the instinctive move of the manager to prematurely impose order on chaos is more problematic to the organization than the direct impact of the chaos. and evolving project organization. temporary. Reflecting on the stories in this book should help you embrace Bergson’s classification of two sorts of order. they are ready to keep answers in suspense. It should facilitate your ability to perceive reality as it is. as well as with sudden changes in these requirements and constraints • Numerous unexpected events and problems subsequent to the above difficulties • Difficulties of coping with these problems due to the unique. to accept that you can’t avoid “living order” in your projects and that you better expect and tolerate it. and you. He further explained that one crucial difference between managers and leaders lies in the conceptions they hold of chaos and order. which is composed of heterogeneous units These project leaders were clearly able to tolerate the “living order” in their projects. They knew that their projects would inevitably be affected by one or more of the following: • Changes resulting from the dynamic environment • Surprises resulting from the unique and often innovative tasks • Difficulties of coping with challenging requirements and radical constraints. you will quickly understand and easily apply the practices to your own project. whereas managers seek order and control. The project leaders throughout this book demonstrated that they did not rush to impose “geometric order” prematurely. Leaders can tolerate chaos and lack of structure. EpiloguE • practicEs for projEct lEadErship 215 resoundingly in the affirmative.
made the following insightful observation: “What is strength in one context can be a weakness in another context. Avoiding the “one best way” approach does not imply. In the JASSM project.” There is always the need to strike a balance between relying on the accumulated knowledge of the organization. however. context-free practices. on the one hand. Indeed.” or that you must always “start from scratch. the project managers used many practices in a like manner. I am flexible—you are weak. I’m persevering—you are stubborn. the use of procedures in a product development project with their use in a repeated tasks project. all of the project managers throughout this book spent a great deal of time adjusting their practices to the specific context of their project. At the same time. and enhancing the flexibility and creativity within each individual project on the other. Let us compare.216 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent Practice Two: Adjust Project Practices to the Specific Context Malcolm Forbes. the publisher of Forbes magazine.. In contrast to the literature emphasizing standard. I am practical—you are opportunistic. for example. Larry Lawson. In . was instructed to throw out all the military standards and was given the freedom to put together his own approach as long as it met the project’s three key performance parameters. the project manager for Lockheed Martin Corporation.” The current practice is a key practice that significantly affects all other practices. It depends on the context. that there are no “wrong ways.. the four distinctly different types of projects in this book allow us to see that in projects sharing common characteristics and coping with similar challenges. the rationale behind the design of this book is to help the reader understand how successful project managers deviate from the common “one best way” approach and adjust their practices to the specific context of their project.” that “anything goes.
they adjusted the practice to be highly flexible and informal. When they found that this strategy led to a huge growth in project scope and overall cost. We can also compare between the different ways in which planning was accomplished in one project involving product development and another project involving repeated tasks. the team at the Pathfinder project was expected to strictly adhere to the extremely detailed flight procedures. it is important to be aware that different contexts are found not only between projects. and in the two repeated tasks projects they changed the practice to be highly rigid and formal. the project manager of the harbor cranes transfer project prepared and followed an extremely detailed plan with about 300 specific activities for each sea voyage. the only way for the contractor’s project manager to make progress was to frequently disregard the existing plans and instead embark on “planning by action” via well-prepared mockups. a “dairy of dreams” as they termed it. For example. Following the change to a schedule-driven strategy. when they learned that their domination in the cup products field was about to be threatened by their greatest rival. move it to the . In all four cases. By convincing the committee to abandon the standard process. there was even an extremely rigorous process for preparing and refining these flight procedures. It started with the development of a state-of-the-art-driven dairy. EpiloguE • practicEs for projEct lEadErship 217 sharp contrast. the project managers adjusted the practice to the situation. they embraced a cost-driven orientation. realized that the existing procedures for the bidding process would not allow them to accelerate construction. the dairy project was forced to adapt to three distinct overriding strategies. the project manager. but also within projects. In contrast. Each change of strategy meant a change of context and was accompanied by an adjustment in project practices. Still. In the Yad Vashem Museum project. Moreover. In the two product development projects. Zvika. they switched one more time to a schedule-driven focus. Yet.
the project ended up being ahead of schedule and under budget in the final stages. to good enough is not good enough by supporting the uncommon step of taking off the instruments for recalibration. expects the project manager to serve primarily as a controller: to ensure that team members adhere to the established standard. Thus. This role entails only a minimal requirement for judgment and no requirement for adaptation. Challenging the status quo might significantly change the fate of the project and is the essence of project leadership. This process requires a great deal of interpretation and judgment based on rich experience. and streamline it. Stories. Likewise. Practice Three: Challenge the Status Quo The most powerful developments in all eight projects took place as a result of the willingness of the project manager to challenge the status quo. and he must adjust the common practices to the unique situation. The classical model of project management. in which standards are developed for virtually all situations. Following are several examples of how our project managers challenged the status quo: . In reality. are an excellent source for enriching your experience base. the project manager must constantly engage in making sense of the ambiguous and changing situation. Zvika and his team were able to significantly shorten the time necessary to choose contractors to fulfill the new schedule-driven strategy. After starting under severe cost constraints. the ACE project manager. usually several times throughout the life of the project. decided to reverse the previous practice of good enough is good enough. the ACE project went through changes in its major drivers. Don Margolies. such as those presented in this book that present a variety of contexts and solutions.218 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent construction site.
but he did not. with NASA serving as an advisor and team member with limited authority. EpiloguE • practicEs for projEct lEadErship 219 • In JASSM. • In Pathfinder. the battalion commander. . tells how to cut costs drastically. Rather. was authorized by the Pentagon to proceed with downsizing. one had specialized in producing baseball bats and golf club shafts and the other in building surfboards. the project manager of AMRAAM. Yaron was of the opinion that training the soldiers whom he had on hand would not enable him to complete the mission successfully. Jenny. initially against the will of his superiors. to replace many of his recruits. This operation had never before been done at NASA and put him at odds with both his superiors and his team members. • In the evacuation case. the project manager for NASA. Don Margolies. • In the final stages of ACE. Yaron embarked on a long campaign. Larry Lawson. her mission would not be truly accomplished. However. she believed that without first introducing a far-reaching. the project manager for Lockheed Martin. • Judy Stokley. was instructed by his superiors to start training his recruits. propelled and nurtured a unique organizational structure that was far from a traditional one. the project manager. the company took a risk and produced components of the missile at two small companies that had not previously been in the missile business. Thus. supported the uncommon step of taking the instruments off the spacecraft for recalibration. It was composed of four industry rivals. Yaron. unconventional change in the culture of the organization involving a shift from control to trust and responsibility. So Judy took it upon herself to change the project’s culture.
he reacts in the same simple. yet they do not integrate their thinking into one overall concept. several prominent management scholars have discussed this parable while attempting to answer the following question: Do successful senior managers behave more like hedgehogs or like foxes? The debate regarding senior managers is still ongoing. on the other hand. he took it up with the head of the client’s organization. the hedgehog always wins. way every day: He rolls up into a perfect little ball with a sphere of sharp spikes pointing outward in all directions. In recent years. simplify a complex world into a single overall concept that unifies and guides everything they do. Each day this confrontation takes place. Against the advice of the client’s professional staff. . Foxes pursue many ends at the same time. but powerful. though they place the hedgehog in the driver’s seat.220 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent • Zvika. Based on this parable. where he was finally able to obtain the green light to move ahead. Every day the fox waits for the hedgehog while planning to attack him. Berlin attempted to divide the world into two basic groups: foxes and hedgehogs. The fox is a cunning and creative creature. When the hedgehog senses the danger. and despite the greater cunning of the fox. Oxford philosopher Isaiah Berlin described two approaches to life using a simple parable about the fox and the hedgehog. Is there a fundamental characteristic that these project managers share that can explain their unconventional actions? In a famous essay. was convinced that it was time to stop the endless planning and preparation phase of constructing the new dairy. Hedgehogs. The hedgehog is a painfully slow creature with a very simple daily agenda: searching for food and maintaining his home. I have found that they behave both like hedgehogs and foxes. but when it comes to successful project managers. Then the fox retreats while starting to plan his new line of attack for the next day. the project manager of the dairy plant. able to devise a myriad of complex strategies for sneak attacks upon the hedgehog.
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Like the hedgehog, the project managers in all eight cases were guided by one overriding purpose: delivering successful results to the customer. They clearly felt a sense of ownership of the project, involving an intellectual and emotional bond with the mission that they were trying to accomplish. For these project managers, the project objectives were not simply the technical definitions of the customer’s needs. Rather, for them, project objectives meant first of all project results, and they felt total personal accountability for those results. It also meant that they had the self-discipline required for placing all other objectives and opportunities secondary. It was almost as if they were programmed to follow an inner compass that was always pointing toward true north. However, if they could not reach this goal by following conventional methods, they responded by challenging the status quo. This kind of response requires strong willpower and courage. It is important to note, however, that this very focus on delivering results to the customer was also responsible for keeping the frequency of challenging the status quo within limits. These experienced project managers knew very well that challenging the status quo comes with its own risks and costs. In each case, they had to dedicate special attention and energy to overcoming the natural resistance to change and to learning how to perform effectively once this resistance was overcome. This temporary disequilibrium in the project could have led to loss of momentum and progress, eventually hurting their ability to serve the customer. Since their primary focus was not on proving that they were heroes, but rather on delivering results to the customer, they were selective in employing this practice. Thus, their hedgehog’s mentality with its overriding purpose guided them in selecting the right cases for challenging the status quo. And now to the role of the fox. It is evident from the eight cases presented in the book that while it was the project managers’ focused willpower that led them to challenge the status quo, the solutions to the problems they faced demanded a great deal of adaptability and
Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent
creativity. That is precisely the time when the focused hedgehog calls on the creative fox for help. By embracing the behavior of both the hedgehog and the fox, you should also be able to successfully challenge the status quo when the need arises.
Practice Four: Do Your Utmost to Recruit the Right People
In 1911, Fredrick Taylor, the father of “scientific management,” said: “In the past, man has been first. In the future, the system must be first.” One hundred years later and the project managers of all eight projects beg to differ loud and clear. For example, Ray Morgan, the Pathfinder project manager, learned that finding the right balance between systems and people is critical to being a good project manager, but more importantly, he realized that people matter the most because they make the systems work. Terry Little, the JASSM program manager, describes his management philosophy by declaring: “McNamara, I am not.” Here he refers to the limited impact he found in projects for the analytical approach of the Robert McNamara School of Management, where everything is quantifiable and based on models. Terry shares his own conclusion: “Projects move ahead because of the activities of people.” The underlying assumptions and demonstrated behavior of the project managers throughout the book can be summed up as follows: People are the make-or-break factor in projects. With the right people, almost anything is possible. With the wrong team, failure awaits. Thus, recruiting should be taken seriously, and considerable time should be spent finding and attracting, and at times fighting for, the right people. Even greater attention may have to be paid to the selection of the right project manager.
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Indeed, Shimon, the Yad Vashem Museum project manager on behalf of the client, understood the pivotal role of selecting the general contractor. He took great pains to identify and recruit the most suitable project manager for the contractor’s team by using an unconventional three-stage selection process based on multiple factors, not only the total cost of construction. After reviewing all of the proposals received, Shimon selected the company most likely to be awarded the job as contractor and then applied pressure on the director of the company to include his choice for project manager on their team. Shimon’s efforts paid off, and his request was met by a positive response from the company. Yaron, the battalion commander in the evacuation case, provides another example of the importance of finding the right people for the task at hand. When he realized that many of his squad leaders were not fit for the mission, he started a campaign to replace them and did not stop until he was able to reach the commander of the Israeli Air Force and recruit new squad leaders who were more suitable for the job. Recruiting the right people does not have to mean recruiting the world’s most talented “stars.” Often this is simply not practical, and organizational politics might make it impossible for the project manager to steal away the best people within the organization because they’re already involved in other critical projects or fiercely defended by other managers. What’s important, as Brian Rutledge, the financial manager at JASSM, reminds us, is that “you have to get the right people for the right job at the right time.” Even if they could have recruited many stars, our project managers would not have attempted to do so because they knew that if everybody is a potential CEO, then it becomes too difficult to develop a cooperative environment. Indeed, while recruiting, they were constantly thinking about the team as a whole, making sure that the selected team members could work with each other as required by the unique context of the project. Thus, they selected people not only
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on the basis of their technical, functional, or problem-solving skills, but also on the basis of their interpersonal skills. Allan Frandsen, a payload manager from the California Institute of Technology, looked for people who were a little bit out of the mainstream and could flourish in a university environment—people with the “right mix of talent and attitude,” a flexible outlook, and high adaptability. Indeed, he considered flexibility to be even more important than sheer brain power. At times, especially for large projects, the project manager must select a group of leaders for his or her team. Chuck Anderson from Raytheon explains that the “right” people he was searching for were real leaders who would be willing to make swift decisions and take risks without fear of failing.
Practice Five: Shape the Right Culture
Project culture is what holds the organization together, providing project members with a shared frame of reference, rules for behavior, and an understanding of the do’s and don’ts of project life. When project members share the same culture, they develop a set of mutually accepted ideas of what is real in their constantly changing environment, what is important, and how to respond. The Talmud says: “We do not see things as they are. We see things as we are.” Cultural differences between project groups are often accompanied by divergent assumptions, values, and perceptions of reality that can have serious implications for project performance. As Don Margolies, the project manager of the NASA Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) project, quips: “If Goddard (NASA) said the sky was blue, APL would say it was pink.” Unfortunately, these difficulties are not uncommon for projects. Project organization is temporary, with a finite end, and is typically composed of groups from different organizations, often with a range
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of cultures. The project organization evolves throughout the life of the project, where different groups join and leave the project as dictated by the unique nature of the specific project. The limited and relatively short life of most projects, and the typically different cultures and interests of the various groups composing the project, render shaping project culture—one culture for the whole team—very difficult. Zvika, the project manager of the Tnuva dairy plant, uses this vivid metaphor to illustrate the impact of working with different project cultures: “I used to compare the quick pace and agility of the “monkeys” on site versus the reliable, but inflexible, work of the “elephants” at GEA.” It is important to stress that even in permanent organizations, shaping culture is not easy and indeed requires leadership. Professor Edgar Schein of the MIT Sloan School of Management, who is generally credited with introducing the term “corporate culture,” distinguishes between leadership and management by arguing that leadership creates and changes cultures, whereas management acts within a culture. Indeed, the project managers in all eight cases in this book found that one of the key factors for project success was the need to shape the culture of their projects. Teamwork—mutual interdependence and mutual responsibility for project results—was one element of culture that was universally guided by the philosophy of “we’re all in this together.” For example, the focus of the AMRAAM project was on shaping project culture, with an emphasis on teamwork, mutual trust, and responsibility for results. This change was successful as a result of the deep commitment and personal involvement of the two project leaders from the U.S. Air Force and from Raytheon. A more limited effort to improve teamwork and trust, but nevertheless a creative one, was introduced by Don Margolies, the NASA project manager of ACE. Don attempted to alleviate some of the problems that resulted from the cultural differences between APL and NASA Goddard by
they had to take a highly unconventional approach to “fitting in” and establishing a good rapport with the local residents: “Dave had—how shall I say it?—a thing for karaoke. To accelerate this change. Project leaders need to shape their project culture not only to promote a “teamwork” culture. Fortunately. Once the locals felt invested in the team’s success. who had a natural apprehension about outsiders. smoothing the way for them in dealing with the local authorities. but also to ensure that the “right” culture fits their unique context. did not have any choice but to replace many of his squad leaders to be sure that his battalion would embrace the required attitude of “with determination and sensitivity. Making such a successful change is often dependent on having the right people and sometimes may be accomplished only by replacing some key people. that’s right. Yes. even selecting the right people does not always bring about the desired cultural change. The cultural change in the Pathfinder project was also focused on collaboration. they were ready and willing to do whatever they could to help AeroVironment reach its goals. in the evacuation case. at least not fast enough. So we sang with him. the AeroVironment project manager.” The “mandatory” karaoke parties held at Dave’s place with the whole NASA and AeroVironment team helped to break the ice and form a crucial basis of trust with the people of Kauai. Ray Morgan. For example. explains how Dave Nekomoto served as their entrée into the community. Allan . Yaron. but rather between the project team and the residents of the island of Kauai. this time not between two organizations.226 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent introducing frequent face-to-face meetings. we sang. the short distance between Goddard and APL went a long way toward establishing a trustful relationship and cultivating a partnership between the two organizations.” However. For example. Allan Frandsen’s hand selection of his small team at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory was still not enough to foster development of the right culture on the team. Still. the battalion commander.
By being a failure-tolerant leader... the JASSM project manager. Instead. or even breaking the rules when necessary. there is a noticeable cultural difference between the two institutions. Lockheed’s project manager. Terry could have said. and at times may actually encourage...” Practice Six: Plan. ‘I don’t trust you. he asked me if I wanted some help. Another example of facilitating the desired cultural change can be found in the JASSM case. Terry. It was the defining moment for the program. Monitor. learning. risk taking. planning establishes the targets and the course of action for reaching them. bending. and I want to have an independent technical review. The lessons learned by this team about how to respond to adversity enabled us to solve bigger challenges. and innovation. Allan assumed that being surrounded by scientists and interacting with them on a daily basis in Caltech’s research environment would help the new team to quickly develop an adaptive culture—a culture that allows.. Larry Lawson. our first missile launch after the contract award failed. .. tailoring. According to this outlook.. and Anticipate Classically. Teams are defined by how they react in adversity— and how their leaders react. Although Caltech is only seven miles from JPL. was able to develop a culture of autonomy. planning and control are portrayed as the backbone of successful projects.’ But that’s not what he said. Therefore. control involves measuring and evaluating performance and taking corrective action when performance deviates from plans.. describes Terry’s reaction to the team’s initial failure and how he used it to help shape this culture: “After months of working seven-day weeks. EpiloguE • practicEs for projEct lEadErship 227 moved the team from JPL to Caltech. while control ensures that the course of action is maintained and that the desired targets are indeed reached.
only short-term plans were prepared. These project managers know that in a dynamic environment. Today. Accordingly. Thus. can be achieved only by applying all nine practices described in this Epilogue. the central role for measuring and evaluating performance is to provide quick feedback necessary for further planning. For example. however. But by no means are these activities enough in order to provide project control. which is classically regarded as project control. “Why didn’t your performance yesterday conform to the original plan?” but rather. measuring and evaluating performance. while planning and control are still central for project success.228 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent The cases in this book demonstrate that in today’s “permanent white water” environment. The main purpose of project control is not to answer the question. in the two product development projects. their scopes are significantly different. Successful project managers do not limit their monitoring to events occurring within the typical boundaries of their assigned role. can serve only as a means to monitor performance. much of the information was missing or highly ambiguous and remained volatile throughout the life of the projects. and a great deal of planning was accomplished through prototyping as part of “planning by action” (more on planning by action in “Practice Eight”). the primary role of project control was to identify deviations from the plan and adjust execution to conform to the plan. ensuring project targets are reached. Project control. The change in the scope of project control has been even more radical. projects succeed only through the constant monitoring of performance . they demonstrate that the planning time and the planning methods are strongly affected by the stability of the available information. Classic concepts of project control were developed for stable environments in which it was expected that planning would be fairly accurate and implementation would largely adhere to the plan. “What kind of feedback can help you learn faster and perform better tomorrow?” Under conditions of uncertainty. that is. In general.
many of the most crucial “challenging the status quo” actions were initiated proactively by the project managers. ‘A’ would signify anticipate. at least in general terms.. concisely described his project management philosophy. a good project manager already knows... So what are the alternatives? Are there sensible workarounds? What can I do now to lay the groundwork or facilitate matters should something go wrong? These and other questions make up the ongoing process of anticipation. Air Force project manager of JASSM. the U. In particular. the ACE payload project manager..S. The critical importance of anticipation has been demonstrated throughout this book. one has to establish and maintain the flexibility to take appropriate actions when needed. he was also aware that such a visit would allow him to anticipate problems even before they actually occurred. anticipate. as well as early signals of possible problems. If I had to write down the ABCs of project management. Terry was aware that a government project manager does not normally visit the suppliers of a prime contractor. Allan Frandsen.’” . what is supposed to happen next—but all too often it doesn’t. Of course. demonstrated this notion by taking a trip to visit one of the contractors’ suppliers. with anticipation of problems topping the list as the most important role of the project manager: “To lead a project effectively. the ‘A’ in the ABCs of project management could just as well stand for ‘anticipate. EpiloguE • practicEs for projEct lEadErship 229 and changes outside their formal boundaries. anticipate. Deliberate anticipation entails focusing attention on identifying irregularities. However. And because it is an ongoing process. primarily as a result of their constant engagement in ongoing deliberate anticipation. leaving sufficient time to attenuate and often eliminate their impact on the project. Terry Little. and being flexible and ready to respond.
took place on site. especially for the foreign designers working abroad. Zvika... all project meetings.230 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent Practice Seven: Use Face-to-Face Communication as the Primary Communication Mode Because a project functions as an ad hoc temporary and evolving organization. composed of people affiliated with different organizations. I believe that the key was rather ‘high-touch’ communication. both for solving problems . the team of inspectors we had on site carried out daily documentation of progress via digital cameras. Zvika goes on to describe another component of the communication system that he used on site: “As much as we invested in ‘high-tech’ communication. and within minutes. Receiving an up-to-date documentation of the situation on site was helpful. When the project suffers from high uncertainty. The blueprints were sent to the site via the intranet. the role played by project communication is even more crucial.” However. In the following example. and each of the meetings began with a tour of the site. covering a wide spectrum from high tech to high touch. The designers of the facility met weekly there. the project manager of the dairy plant.an advanced work station was installed on site to produce blueprints. from the beginning of the work to its end.. communication serves as the glue that binds together all parts of the organization. In addition. These meetings were very effective. The photos were distributed via the intranet network to all the designers and contractors in Israel as well as abroad. all the necessary copies could be made and distributed to the many contractors on site. explained some of the unique features of the hightech communication systems that he developed for his construction site: “.. The project managers in this book employed a great variety of communication mediums.
Dennis reminded them. Air Force chief financial officer of AMRAAM. Although face-to-face communication is often expensive. Hence. Furthermore. the U. face-to-face communication is repeatedly shown to be a powerful tool. Thus. particularly for novel and ambiguous issues and when building social bonding and trust is crucial. when returning from a visit to Raytheon for a series of face-to-face meetings. its significance and popularity were stressed in each one of the eight projects. When interaction takes place in a group setting. For example.S. EpiloguE • practicEs for projEct lEadErship 231 in real time and for building strong cooperation among the various design engineers. the number of verbal and nonverbal “conversations” that can be conducted simultaneously is almost impossible to replicate with any other media. scarcity of attention has become the key challenge for effective project communication.” . found that his colleagues at home were stunned with the kind of information he was able to get from the contractor.” In recent years. Its strength lies in the fact that it provides timely and personalized feedback by using multiple channels of communications. body language. provides a succinct description of this challenge: “What information consumes is rather obvious: It consumes the attention of its recipients. “You’ll be surprised by how much better you do once you get to know the people you’re working with. the speaker can alter it midstream and provide necessary clarification. and facial expressions.” Indeed. a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention. Then. Herbert Simon. By seeing how others are responding to a verbal message even before it is complete. face-to-face interaction provides a valuable opportunity for ongoing responsiveness. the Nobel prize-winning economist. Dennis Mallik. including eye contact. which can convey a deeper and more convincing message than any other form of communication. face-to-face communication is the best medium for quick resolution of ambiguity and for building a strong foundation of trust.
300 miles away. who was located about 2. As a matter of fact.” There is no doubt that Frank succeeded because he was willing to listen patiently to his host’s concerns. information. Plans and Situated Actions: The Problem of Human-machine Communication. with a comparison between the different navigation methods employed by the European and the Trukese navigator: . and action. discovered the power of face-to-face communication when he attempted to offer help to another member of his team. face-to-face communication went a long way toward dispelling his suspicions about my intentions. Frank summed up the results of his trip: “Clearly. Frank was also able to ensure that his host would listen to him because he was able to capture his host’s attention. action is regularly ignored. Practice Eight: Be Action-Oriented and Focus on Results What is the most important leg of a tripod? The missing one! Successful project management stands on the following three legs: people. the ground system and flight operations manager at Goddard Space Flight Center. I think I can even say that this was the beginning of a fruitful relationship that lasted for the rest of the project. Lucy Suchman opens her book. Yet. responded to Frank’s offer by sending him a blistering email that basically said. This researcher at Caltech.232 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent Frank Snow. I don’t recall after this ever getting another 300-word email from him of the ‘nothank-you-and-please-go-away’ variety. Yet. who was terribly suspicious of the Goddard project office. “Hell no!” Frank decided to fly across the country to Caltech to talk with the researcher.
as in an established production process (“geometric order”). neither method is superior to the other. environment. Conceivably. and constraints is low. . If asked. However. it is clear that for managing projects. for navigation. The Trukese navigator begins with an objective rather than a plan. the differences between the two reflect much more than just styles of thinking and acting. whose research focus was on “purposeful action. but he cannot describe his course. The project managers in this book concur. the Trukese method is more suitable when uncertainty is high and the situation is novel and confusing. and he steers accordingly. Yet. the fauna. The differences between these two methods might simply reflect different styles of thinking and acting. He utilizes information provided by the wind. the stars. then respond accordingly. but there is clearly a greater use of the Trukese method in the early phases of most cases.’ If unexpected events occur. the waves. the sound of the water on the side of the boat. he must first alter the plan. He sets off toward the objective and responds to conditions as they arise in an ad-hoc fashion. His effort is directed to doing whatever is necessary to reach the objective. The projects in the book employ a mix of these two methods. such as in the development of a new product using an immature technology or while coping with a disruptive technology (“living order”). the clouds. the tide and current.” concludes that while the European navigator exemplifies the prevailing scientific models of purposeful action. EpiloguE • practicEs for projEct lEadErship 233 “The European navigator begins with a plan—a course—that he has charted according to certain universal principles. and he carries out his voyage by relating his every move to that plan. she believes that ignoring the Trukese navigator is a serious mistake. from the cases in the book.” Suchman. His effort throughout his voyage is directed to remaining ‘on course. The European method is most suitable when uncertainty regarding the task. he can point to his objective at any moment.
234 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent The comparison between the working styles of the two navigators highlights the three key components of the current practice: • Planning by action • Management by hands-on engagement • Focus on results Following are three short examples from the eight cases that demonstrate these components. highlights the use of prototyping by one of their suppliers for the development of the missile. it rarely happens the way we predict with our models. but eventually you reach your goal. The first prototype they built took a long time. But guess what? In the real world. put them in the model.S. the project manager for the U. the process allowed them to learn what things they didn’t have to do or be concerned about. they fully understood the problem. but the end product did not measure up. it saves you money. In the long run. It is messy. and it will all come out just like it is supposed to. we can run through the numbers.” . and sometimes you are embarrassed with the results. Still. Planning by Action In JASSM. yet we don’t do enough of it because we would like to believe that if we simply get enough smart people together. Air Force. As a result. The reason people want it to be that way is because prototyping is not cheap—it is not cheap in terms of the money or the time required to do it. the project manager for Lockheed Martin. Terry Little. By the time they started work on the sixth one. explains that the use of prototyping by Lockheed Martin was one of the key factors in its ability to win the contract. As he explains: “Prototyping is a wonderful way of learning. the second prototype was a better product that took about half as long to build. do the simulation. Larry Lawson.
but we believe that the role model approach is a more effective motivator.’ But after a few months. We promised large bonuses to the workers. the JASSM financial manager. and not less importantly. we could naturally infect the entire workforce with our passion and energy.’ When I talked to other people working in the program office. and our people expected it. I had to admit that there was something to it. I eventually found myself stopping to think: ‘What am I doing to get to that point. including weekends and holidays.” Focus on Results Sometimes even small gestures can take on far greater meaning than expected. I don’t need to have a reminder on the wall. staying together with the workers and even eating with them. We believed that this way we could learn quickly about changes and react in a timely manner. he directed someone to make a viewgraph stating this goal: Be on contract by July 1. I thought: ‘Oh man. As one of them underscored: “This was our norm for all the special projects we carried out. and what can I cut out of my work that’s preventing me from getting there? How am I getting distracted from the goal?’” . Brian Rutledge. That was it. He wanted it pinned up in everybody’s cubicle. ‘What’s this guy thinking?’ I said. the two project leaders were closely involved with the workforce throughout the entire 24/7 operation. I saw it there every day when I walked up to my desk. I just rolled my eyes. recalls the significance of such a gesture to promoting his results-focused orientation: “After Terry said that we were going to be on contract in six months. ‘It’s like we’re in kindergarten. I know what we’re doing. EpiloguE • practicEs for projEct lEadErship 235 Management by Hands-On Engagement In the transferring harbor cranes project. At first. They worked on it in shifts. this is goofy.
control. where unexpected events are inevitable and the project is plagued with numerous problems. they can still be resolved while maintaining the status quo. The cases in this book. . The final outcome was a mission accomplished in less than five months. that is. require leadership.’” Practice Nine: Lead. are adaptive. and often require new learning and changes in patterns of behavior. Plan-driven management assumes a relatively predictable world and thus relies primarily on planning. however. A dynamic environment. but a chart that plotted the results accomplished. they can be solved with knowledge and procedures already at hand. in a nutshell. wiser. Other problems. a distinguished university professor at the University of Michigan: “The argument. and risk-management tools. These problems. they are not so well-defined. that is. So You Can Manage In a world perceived as being in “geometric order. They just require good managerial skills. is the one set forth by a Persian proverb: ‘Thinking well is wise. however. To address these adaptive problems. doing well. therefore.” there is a need for both leadership and management.236 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent So they kept a chart to measure their progress—not a chart that used the project plan to monitor specific tasks. wisest and best of all.” projects require only plan-driven management. The importance of the focus on results is poignantly captured by Karl Weick. clearly demonstrate that in the real world of “living order. Most of these problems are technical. Although solving these problems might require great flexibility and high responsiveness. the project manager must be willing and able to make significant changes and to challenge the status quo. do not have clear solutions. demands both leadership and management. planning well.
So maybe management is the dominant role? On the other hand. as follows: Practices requiring routine activities: • Plan. whereas leaders focus on and generate nonroutine interventions. • Use face-to-face communication as the primary communication mode. without being involved in the ongoing management of the project.” can be considered infrastructure practices that affect all other practices. Using this distinction. the project manager must selectively choose the cases for which challenging the status quo is vital. So which role is more dominant: leadership or management? Does one need to strive to be a manager who is also a leader or vice versa? On the one hand. • Be action-oriented and focus on results. monitor. • Do your utmost to recruit the right people. “embrace the living order concept” and “adjust project practices to the specific context. as the cases presented here demonstrate. without challenging the status quo and solving the adaptive problem . the project manager simply does not know when to intervene and what is the best way in which to do so. Practices requiring nonroutine interventions: • Challenge the status quo. The remaining two practices. EpiloguE • practicEs for projEct lEadErship 237 Another aspect that distinguishes between these two roles is that managers engage in routine activities. Moreover. • Shape the right culture. and anticipate. it is clear that the epilogue includes three practices requiring primarily routine activities and three that demand nonroutine interventions. to maintain stability. Thus. the project manager actually ends up spending much more time on routine management activities than on leadership activities.
one always immediately feels that each one of his personalities is an authentic and sincere person. You simply cannot not follow Ray.” Although most of the time project managers perform managerial activities. . Thus. However. there is no management! You must lead so that you can manage. Dougal Maclise described Ray Morgan’s effectiveness as the project manager of the Pathfinder project in this way: “Whether one meets the optimist developer. Project managers are judged primarily not for what they do. but rather for what their people do. but these roles are intertwined and indistinguishable once you become a successful project manager. when these two roles reside within the same person. distinguishing between management and leadership is helpful when you first begin shaping your attitude and developing your skills. even when the project manager performs just routine management activities. “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take. using a nonroutine leadership intervention. the inquisitive engineer. we have discussed leadership and management as if performed by two different people. there is more to the debate of leadership versus management. or the energetic cowboy. What you actually become is a project leader. This is where the leadership role has the upper hand. That is. can routine management actually proceed. without leadership. the project might simply come to a grinding halt. So far.” As stated eloquently by an anonymous source. However. His genuine spirit is contagious. the few incidences in which they act as leaders are what define them in the eyes of their team members as leaders who they willingly follow. the experienced builder. it is important to understand that leadership attitude and behavior inspire team members.238 Mastering the Leadership roLe in project ManageMent at hand. Only once the problem is overcome. but by the moments that take our breath away.
203-211 descriptions of. 49 AeroVironment Design Development Center. 25-26 battalion personnel. trust and. 229 action orientation. 220 best people (ABCs of project management). 71-75. 193-198 schedule-driven project management. 193-211 planning and preparation phase. reactions in. 132-135. 176. 156-163 239 B “Bad Management Theories Are Destroying Good Management Practices” (Ghoshal). Pete. solving. Isaiah. 227-229 approval of plan. 149-151 architects. Jenny. fallacy of. 224 anticipate (ABCs of project management). 141-147 evacuation. 83. 156-163 Bauer. 125-147 adversity. 214 Berlin. 94 Benjamin (dairy plant building case study). 95 Aldridge. ending. 232-236 adaptability. 176. Henri. Ishai. 10-14 downsizing. 8891. in evacuation case study. C.Index A ABCs of project management. Chuck. 149-151 battalion personnel. 176 Boeing. 39. 78. 32-33 adaptive problems. in evacuation case study. 130-141 trust between government and contractors. relationship with contractors and clients. 76-78. 219 . sharing within. 100. Jeffrey. 125-129 partnership between government and contractors. 90. 50 alliances. 31-32 case studies dairy plant building. 211 Benjamin (evacuation case study). 8 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM). 21-22 Anderson. 125-147 Amrami. 54-55. 83. 125-147 challenges inherent in. 5 Baer-Riedhart. 45 C CAIG (Cost Analysis Improvement Group). 149-169 approval of plan. 59. 200. 194. 198-203 splitting and harmonizing the work. 67-69 analytical approach. 143-146. 84-85 AMRAAM (Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile). 55-65 autonomy. 160 Bergson.
76-87 spacecraft building. Mary. 38-47 teamwork. suppliers. contractors. 38-47. 164-169 psychological preparation of defense forces. importance of. 203-211 descriptions of. 151-159 harbor crane transfer. 51-55 versatility of team. 55-65 government. 30-32 Cost Analysis Improvement Group (CAIG). See also collaboration with local community between inspectors and contractors. 67-68 Chiu. importance of. 51-70 mutual commitment to goals. 175-183 “good enough” requirements. 176 among various locations. See also cooperation commitment to goals. 13-14 spacecraft building. 94-99 systems and communication. 100-101. 203-211 face-to-face communication. 171-175 teamwork. 183-192 challenges inherent in downsizing. 22-37 relationship among government. 183-192 cost cutting. 230-232 within systems. 31-32 implementation phase. Winston. 19-50 changing perceptions of business. 76-87 complex projects case studies dairy plant building. 214-215 Chaskelevitch. 118-124 context adjusting to. 216-218 project management and leadership in. 171-175 teamwork. 171-192 culture of location. 103-114 risk reduction phase. 71-101 collaboration with local community. 125-129 challenging the status quo. 55-65 . 207-209 suppliers. 190-191 Churchill. 179-182. 183-192 constant vigilance phase (harbor crane transfer case study). 4 clients. 38-47 control of project. 114-117 missile development. 103-124 constant vigilance phase. 65-70 solar-powered airplane flying. 207-209 with various teams. 19-22 mutual commitment to goals. 22-37. order versus. 87-94. relationship with clients and architects. relationship with contractors and architects. 175-183. ending. 100-101 know your customers’ needs. 129-147 inspectors.240 Index collaboration with local community. Israel. 55-65 splitting project into two parts. 47-50 museum building. 45-46 as requirement. 171-192 culture of location. 198-203 splitting and harmonizing the work. importance of. 227-229 cooperation. role of. 87-94. 218-222 chaos. 59-64. 71-75 relationships with people. 193-198 schedule-driven project management. 193-211 planning and preparation phase. 118-124 entrepreneurial phase. 87-94. 175-183 “good enough” requirements. 55-65 communication in ABCs of project management. 8-9 contractors. 100-101.
214 culture of location. 220-222 Frandsen. 130-141 trust between government and contractors. Peter. 224-226. 203-211 Daniel (evacuation case study). 103-114 Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology (ERAST). 175-179. Allan. 235-236 mutual commitment to. 189. 214-215 Ghoshal. 124 flying solar-power airplanes. 135. 144-146 goals focus on. 232-233 evacuation case study. 55-65 . 50 Del Frate. 159-161. Sumantra. 141-147 Dror (dairy plant building case study). 171-175. See solar-powered airplane flying case study Forbes. 125-129 description of. 151-159 experience. ending. 167 David Packard Excellence in Acquisition Award. 210 Drucker. Malcolm. 164-169 psychological preparation of defense forces. 4 flat organizational structures. 156-163 description of. 4 G geometric order. 22-37. 5 entrepreneurial phase (harbor crane transfer case study). John. 9 Dryden Flight Research Center. 193-198 schedule-driven project management. 201. knowing needs of. Edwards. 230-232 The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook. 13 implementation phase. 149-169 approval of plan. 88 F face-to-face communication. 213 D dairy plant building case study. 12 partnership between government and contractors. 98 de-scoping. reflection on. 189-192 disengagement. 175-183. 79. 71-75. effect on project success. 149-151 battalion personnel. 5 Gillman. See evacuation case study downsizing case study. Buckminster. 193-211 description of. 82 Deming. 71-75 European navigation. 216 fox and hedgehog analogy. Tom. 153-154 data memos. living order versus. 185. 229 Fuller. 198-203 splitting and harmonizing the work. 125-147 challenges inherent in. cost-driven project management. 224-227 customers. 71-75 241 E Einstein. 35-36. 13-14 planning and preparation phase. Albert. 5. W. 198-199 Creative Evolution (Bergson). Trukese navigation versus. 83 David (evacuation case study).
207-209 J Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM). 27. 50 Lewin. 136-137. 40. Ofer. 103-114 risk reduction phase. 214-215 local community. 220-222 Heraclitus. 234 leadership in project management. 114-117 Harel. 214-215 planning. 198-203 input on project requirements. 47. 1-4 Leitzel. anticipating. 51-70 L Lawson. 12 entrepreneurial phase. Dougal. 64-70. 100-101 location. 236-238 leadership practices adjusting to context. 222. 38-47. 38-47 K Klein. 104-114. 119. 171-175 when to ignore. 87-94. 28-30 inspectors. Amos. 3. 22 M Maclise. cooperation with contractors. 117-124 Kornfeld. 227-229. 218-222 face-to-face communication. monitoring. 164-169 implementation reviews. 7 from stories. 104-117. 38-44. affecting culture by. 159 implementation phase (evacuation case study). Charles. Jackie. Shimon. 236-238 living order versus geometric order. 216. 222-224 shaping team culture. 47-50 I Ilan (evacuation case study). Larry. 38.242 Index “good enough” requirements. 227. 214 Holocaust History Museum. 169 hedgehog and fox analogy. collaboration with. 19. 189-192 government. 235 Handy. 127. 19-50. Arik. 93-94. 227-229 purposeful action. Dennis. 144. 129-147 suppliers. Kurt. 175-183 Lockheed Martin Integrated Systems. 219. 8-9. 99. 203-211 Harpaz. 4 harbor crane transfer case study. 238 Mallik. 103-124 constant vigilance phase. Terry. geometric order versus. 231 . 5 Little. 19-50 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) missile. 153 harmonizing work after splitting. 223 H hands-on management. 118-124 description of. 234-235 living order. 232-236 recruiting right people. 230-232 leadership versus management. Dan. 224-227 learning from best managers. 161-163. 52-61. relationship with contractors. 216-218 challenging the status quo. 187-189 independence in project management. 120-124 Klein.
238 Morris. 51-55 versatility of team. 65-70 mutual accountability. 218-219. 214-215 organizational change case studies descriptions of. Don. Brock. Dave. 51-55 versatility of team. 222. 71-87 navigation. suppliers.G. 103-114 Mike (dairy plant building case study). 47-50 museum building. 227-229 Morgan. 47-50 monitoring. 11 missile development. 94-99. 55-65 243 new product development case studies descriptions of. 19-50 changing perceptions of business. 38-47 teamwork. 142 McCready. 12-13 downsizing. chaos versus. management. 19-22 description of. 76. 89-92.. 19-50 changing perceptions of business. 164-169 psychological preparation of defense forces. P. Paul. 138 McCaman. 125-147 challenges inherent in. role of. 156-163 implementation phase. 232-233 Nekomoto. 38-39 Mifram. 130-141 trust between government and contractors. suppliers.W. 22-37 relationship among government. 34-35 order. Wendy. 51-70 description of. 89. written proposals versus. 19-22 mutual commitment to goals. 100. 184-187 museum building case study. 190. 5 Murphy. 55-65 splitting project into two parts. 179-182. 125-129 partnership between government and contractors. 226. 149-169 approval of plan. 172-174. 51-70 mutual commitment to goals. 100. 151-159 organizational structures. 11 mutual commitment to goals. 84. 22-37 relationship among government. 139. 224-225 Massielo. European versus Trukese methods. contractors. 22-37. 124 N NASA. 203-211 missile development case study. contractors. 26-27 mutual commitment to goals. 4. Gerald. 95-97 McDonnell Douglas Aerospace. 226 . 38-47 teamwork. 80. 195-199 oral presentations. effect on project success. 149-151 battalion personnel. 11 mutual commitment to goals. See project management Margolies. Ray. 55-65 splitting project into two parts. 141-147 evacuation. 65-70 O Ofer (dairy plant building case study).
7 project management theories. See leadership in project management. 176. 151-159 purposeful action. 26-27 project requirements cost as.244 Index project management practice. leadership practices project management ABCs of. 4-6 learning from best managers. 222-224 PERT (Program Evaluation and Review Technique) charts. 222-224 redundancy. 156-163. See evacuation case study repeated and risky tasks case studies descriptions of. outdated nature of. 84 plan approval. 4-6 project ownership. 88 practices. 88 partnership between government and contractor. 47. importance of relationships with. government. 30-32 “good enough” requirements. 7 project management research detachment from practice. 232 PMRF (Pacific Missile Range Facility). 80-83 product development. 118-124 entrepreneurial phase. See also leadership practices detachment from research. 236 planning by action. 193-198 role of. 8-9. 156-163. See case studies project leadership. 38-47 with government and contractors. in evacuation case study. 100-101 know your customers’ needs. See new product development case studies Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) charts. 114-117 solar-powered airplane flying. 234 psychological preparation of defense forces. 87-94. 103-124 constant vigilance phase. 94-101 relocation. 129-141 with people. 149-151 plan-driven management. risk and. sense of. 178-179. importance of. 103-114 risk reduction phase. 151-159 procedures. developing. 11-12 harbor crane transfer. 71. 227-229 Plans and Situated Actions: The Problem of Human-machine Communication (Suchman). 71-101 collaboration with local community. 178-179. 94-101 personnel. 232-236 P-Q Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF). See also teamwork Pathfinder. 4-6 learning from best managers. selecting. 71-75 . 28-30 prototyping. 236-238 R recruiting personnel. 213 relationships with contractors. 84 project examples. suppliers. 193-198 psychological preparation of defense forces. 229 leadership in. 174-175 reflection on experience. See leadership practices preparation ending preparation phase. 171-175 input on. 85-87 people. 130-141. 234 ending planning phase.
22. 35-36. 171-192 culture of location. 33-34 245 S Safdie. challenging. 38-47 sustain (ABCs of project management). 114-117 Rutledge. 176 systems. 141 suppliers. 183-192 between government and contractor. 4-6 Thurber. 176. 171-177. 178-179. importance of. 51-54. See project management research results. 65 sharing within alliances. See project requirements research. 235-236 risk. 76-87 spacecraft building case study. 71-101 collaboration with local community. 65-70 technical problems. Avner. 9. 11-12 know your customers’ needs. 198-203 Schein. 218-222 Stokley. 175-183 description of. Herbert. 76-87 requirements. 87-94. See evacuation case study Shalev. 183-192 splitting projects into parts. 76-87 T Taylor. 141-144. See also personnel teamwork cooperation within. relationship with government and contractors. learning from. John. 43 Snow. 71-75 relationships with people. redundancy and. 171-175 teamwork. Judy. 24 Skunk Works. 45. importance of. 224-227 versatility of team. 24 schedule-driven project management. outdated nature of. 65 SAMP (Single Acquisition Management Plan). importance of. 94-99 systems and communication. 189 stories. 1-4. relationships with people. 232 Sudan. Edgar. 94-99 systems and communication. 149-151 Simon. 192. 222 team members (ABCs of project management). 31. George. 100-101 description of. 235 Rutledge. 219 Stone. 52. 180-181 . 182. importance of. Frank. 231 Single Acquisition Management Plan (SAMP). 26. 35. 125-134. Ariel. Fredrick. 84-85 Sharon. 203-211 status quo. Edward. 174-175 risk reduction phase (harbor crane transfer case study). 51-55. 23. 225 selecting personnel. 156-163. importance of. Moshe. See also case studies Suchman. 38. 222-224 settlement relocation. focus on. solving. 130-141 shaping team culture. 223. 8 theories of project management. 13 “good enough” requirements. Lucy. 47-50. 232 solar-powered airplane flying case study. Lynda. 126-128. Brian.
European navigation versus. 167-169. 138 written proposals. 72-73. 141 Whitehead. 76-87 “The Underlying Theory of Project Management Is Obsolete” (Koskela and Howell). 219. 220. 225. Jon. 5 unlearning. 230 U UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) technology. 25-26 between government and contractor. 34-35 Y Yad Vashem. 76-87 V Vaill. 20 Z Zaleznik. 141-147 TSSAM (Tri-Service Standoff Attack Missile). Jerry. 20 Trukese navigation. 214 versatility of team. 112 . Karl. 194-211. 232-233 trust autonomy and. Peter. Judi. 236 Westphal. 72-73. 74 Worsham. 223 Yitzhak (harbor crane transfer case study). 214 Zvika (dairy plant building case study). 156-163. 217. 51-70 Yaron (evacuation case study).246 Index transferring harbor cranes. 65-70 von Mehlem. 3 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology. 106-107. Abraham. 164. oral presentations versus. Bob. 184-185 W-X Weick. See harbor crane transfer case study Tri-Service Standoff Attack Missile (TSSAM).
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